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Gus Johnson on the NCAA tournament: ‘I miss it’

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Back when I was running my old site Ballin’ is a Habit, Gus Johnson was still at CBS and still calling NCAA tournament games.

We gave him the moniker ‘Mr. March Madness‘ because, well, it just fit. The most important part of being a play-by-play announcer is having a feel and understanding of the moment, and there was nothing Gus know how to do better than get hyped and let those golden pipes loose on a big shot or emphatic dunk.

While I think he’ll be excellent as a soccer broadcaster — once he gets a feel for the terminology and the rules of the game, his verbal eruptions when a big goal is scored will be utterly perfect — it won’t change the fact that we’ll miss Gus in March.

He’s doing the Big Ten tournament first round and quarterfinals on the Big Ten Network (it’s owned by FOX, who is his current employer), but it just won’t be the same.

And you know what’s great? Gus misses college hoops, too:

It isn’t easy for him to watch the NCAA tournament with a remote. “It’s emotional,” Johnson tells USA TODAY Sports. “It was a big part of my life for 15 years. The NCAA tournament made me. … Yes, it’s emotional. Yes, I miss it. Yes, I’d like to be a part of it.” But, he says, “this is a business. And I’m glad I’m at Fox.”

Oh, that makes me feel so much better.

We miss you, Gus.

I’m glad you miss us, too.

POSTERIZED: Pensacola State’s Jamal Thomas dunks through block attempt, makes coach go nuts

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A solid poster dunk went down in the junior college ranks last night as Pensacola State sophomore Jamal Thomas finished a dunk through a block attempt against Northwest Florida State.

The 6-foot-3 Thomas used his power and momentum to go through the opposing shot blocker and the play made his head coach, Pete Pena, go nuts with an over-exaggerated fist pump. The video is short, but be sure to watch for Pena’s reaction near the logo at the top right of the screen.

VIDEO: Boise State robbed of insane, buzzer-beating win on incorrect timing by officials

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It looked like James Webb III of Boise State had hit the season’s craziest buzzer-beater.

With 0.8 seconds left, he caught an in-bounds pass on the run on the right wing, hoisted up a prayer of a three and watched as it banked it as the buzzer sounded.

It’s pretty fantastic:

And it also clearly left his hands before time expired, but there was a reason for that. According to the officials, the clock (for the road team, mind you) did not start when the ball was caught.

They were right.

Where they were wrong was determining that it took more than a second for Webb to catch and release the shot, meaning that they were wrong to waive off the bucket.

This awesome slo-mo clip of the shot from Matt Stephens of the Coloradoan is all the evidence I need, but if you need more, Sportscenter anchor Scott Van Pelt clocked it at 0.7 seconds:

The game would go to overtime, where Colorado State would go on to win, 97-93.

As you can imagine, Boise State players and coaches were livid with the call.

“I hope it’s not a situation where you get an apology later but don’t get the win. I don’t understand it,” head coach Leon Rice said in a radio interview after the game. “I hope they got it right somehow, some way. I don’t know. It didn’t look right to me, but I’m not the official.”

This comes just four days after officials blew a call in a game between New Mexico and San Diego State that allowed the Aztecs to force overtime and eventually beat the Lobos. (That call may have determined the outcome of the Mountain West regular season title, to boot.)

New Mexico was essentially told, “my bad”, but the league as a result.

And Boise State will probably get the same treatment despite the fact that, if the league determines that the referees botched this call as well, the tame technically was over then.

Will they have the guts to award the Broncos a road win that they earned and deserve?

I doubt it.

UPDATE: Here’s a statement from the officiating crew: