Virginias Kyle Guy (5) takes a shot as Auburns Samir Doughty (10) was called foul during the second half in the semifinals of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, Saturday, April 6, 2019, in Minneapolis. (Associated Press)
An apparent no-call double dribble, a last-second whistle and three free throws led to a wild finish as Virginia beat Auburn 63-62 Saturday night in Minneapolis, placing the spotlight on the refs of the NCAA Tournament national semifinal game.
Official James Breeding whistled the Tigers' Samir Doughty for a bump on Kyle Guy’s last-ditch three-point shot with 0.6 seconds remaining. Doughty's torso made contact with Guy's right thigh as Guy went up for the shot, even as Doughty tried to avoid contact.
VIRGINIA MEN'S BASKETBALL STAR KYLE GUY TOLD WEDDING REGISTRY WAS RULES VIOLATION — BUT NCAA MAY NOT BE TO BLAME
"NCAA needs to get some new refs,” Auburn guard Bryce Brown said as the team headed to the locker room.
Suns down, guns out. Wait – is that not how this works? Works for me …. @PatrickMahomes pic.twitter.com/u3hVqLJlwk
Irate fans hurled obscene gestures and insults at the officials as they scurried to exit through a tunnel. Police led away a few of the most unruly fans; others walked away from floor seats in tears.
But there was another officiating decision that turned Auburn fans furious. Moments before the fateful play, the Cavalier’s Ty Jerome appeared guilty of a no-call double dribble on his way up the court. But replays also showed Brown as the defender snagging Jerome's jersey to try to foul and disrupt Virginia's offense.
The NCAA said in a statement after the game that the correct call was made on the foul. Breeding had ruled that Doughty moved into an airborne shooter while crowding into his landing spot to violate a rule governing "verticality." But the organization declined to comment on whether a double dribble should have been called.
"They missed some calls and they made some calls, but like I said, that's why they're reffing the Final Four because they're the best of the best," Doughty said. "You've got to trust their decision that they make on that floor."
"They missed some calls and they made some calls, but like I said, thats why theyre reffing the Final Four because theyre the best of the best."
Jarrett Culver awoke from an offensive slumber – 0 for 6 first-half shooting – with six straight points and Texas Tech held Michigan State scoreless over the final 2:54.
Virginias Kyle Guy (5) takes a shot as Auburns Samir Doughty (10) was called for a foul with 0.6 seconds left in the semi-final. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
But Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl told reporters after the game that he wanted the semifinal to be remembered as a great game with a lot of plays, not just by the crucial call at the end.
Michigan State (32-7) epitomizes Big Ten brutality, bumping and bashing opponents into submission to reach the Final Four for the eighth time under its fiery coach.
“I thought that we looked like we belonged,” Pearl told SportingNews. “We weren't supposed to be here. We weren't supposed to have a chance to win — or maybe had a chance to win, but unlikely. I thought our kids made a lot of plays, a lot of plays to be able to win the game.
The physical play. The toughness. The attention to defense and rebounding. Everything Tom Izzo gets his players to do, thats what Beard expects from his.
“So, this will be a memorable game, and I'd like it to be remembered for a great game. Let's not remember this game because of just how it ended.”
In the night’s second semifinal game, No. 3 seed Texas Tech toppled second-seeded Michigan State, 61-51. Matt Mooney matched his season-high of 22 points to lead the Red Raiders to victory.
The Texas Tech Red Raiders held off Michigan State in Saturday’s Final Four to reach the first national title game in program history.
The win was undeniably a huge deal to Texas Tech fans. The team was thrilled. Patrick Mahomes was pumped. Chris Beard kissed Matt Mooney. It was a celebratory — yet focused — scene in Minneapolis.
Videos began circulating on Twitter late Saturday night showing Texas Tech fans flipping cars and starting bonfires with Lime scooters in the heart of the downtown Lubbock. It got to the point where police responded in riot gear to disperse the crowds with tear gas.
The City of Lubbock issued a statement about Saturday’s postgame incidents, urging fans to behave lawfully on Monday night.
“After Texas Tech defeated Michigan State, hundreds of fans gathered & engaged in dangerous, & disappointing behavior including vandalizing property. We are proud, & excited, for Texas Tech; but that behavior will not be tolerated. We want Red Raider fans to support the team & celebrate lawfully and responsibly. Were on the national stage so make Lubbock proud.”