Like it or lump it, NCAA says ref made right call at end of Kansas-UCLA

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Anyone who watched Kansas’ 77-76 win against UCLA last night has an opinion about how the game ended. (And probably tweeted about it.)

For those who missed it, the Bruins tied it at 76 with five seconds remaining thanks to a 3-pointer by Tyler Honeycutt. As Kansas scrambled for the last shot, Mario Little corralled a loose ball and was apparently bumped by UCLA’s Malcolm Lee. Official Doug Sirmons whistled Lee for a foul with .7 seconds left on the clock. Little hit the first free throw, and that was it.

“Really, really a poor way to end the game on a call,” Bruins coach Ben Howland told the L.A. Times. “Normally, you wouldn’t make that kind of call at that point in the game unless it was very obvious, and from what I saw it was very disappointing to have the game end on that note.”

Should Sirmons have made the call? Rob Dauster says yes, but only because he thinks the foul would’ve been called at any time during the game.

And the NCAA agrees. From ESPN.com:

“The refs reacted properly,’’ said John Adams, the head of the NCAA’s officiating on Friday. Adams added that Sirmons was an experienced official who worked an NCAA regional last season. “The only argument you can make is whether or not it was a foul. It’s a foul. The Kansas kid has control of the ball. It’s incredibly unfortunate to end the game like that. But I’ve looked at the tape this morning and Doug called the foul like he’s supposed to.”

Well, I guess that settles that. No, I’m sure it makes UCLA feel better about the ending. Or not.

“When you just lose a game off of a tacky foul and then free throws at the end, that’s kind of hard,” Lee said. “You might as well lose by 30, because that’s just crazy.”

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