Rutgers got lucky a defensive miscue didn’t cost them

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The discussion about whether or not you should foul, up three, with less than ten seconds on the clock is one that we will be having until they implement a four point shot in basketball.

Mike Rice was a firm-believer in not fouling.

That may have changed today, as Jeremy Hazell hit a three at the end of regulation to force overtime in Seton Hall’s 76-70 loss to Rutgers on Tuesday afternoon at the Big East Tournament.

First of all, here is Hazell’s shot:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1d55C4Py-fQ]

And here is what Mike Rice had to say about it: “Never did it, the Mississippi State versus Kentucky where they did and they lost the game. You can go overtime so it’s always been — I may change it after tonight to be honest with you and, again when you really think about it, if they have a Jeremy Hazell, it’s probably the smartest thing you can do because of his range, of that game I said I won’t do it because you have a chance to lose the game.”

My take?

Play tough, physical defense and force the ref to call a foul before allowing an open three.

Rutgers did the opposite. Seton Hall ran a simple dribble hand off. Dane Miller allowed himself to get clipped on a screen by Jordan Theodore (the ball handler) while James Beatty allowed himself to get beat middle and taking himself out of position to help hedge.

Miller has to be on Hazell’s hip. He has to be pushing and pulling and grabbing, doing everything he can — including committing a foul — to keep Hazell from getting an open look at a three.

Credit must be given to Seton Hall, and particularly Jeremy Hazell, for hitting that shot.

But Rutgers has no excuse for allowing one of the best shooters in recent Big East history to get a clean look at the rim from 25 feet.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.