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Stupid Season Commences

Here we go again

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NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Duke vs UCF
Mar 24, 2019; Columbia, SC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward RJ Barrett (5) and forward Cam Reddish (2) celebrate after defeating the UCF Knights in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Colonial Life Arena. 
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

For Duke, the NCAA tournament goes one of two ways:

Duke loses early

Duke makes a run because it gets all the calls.

So far it looks like it’s going to be the latter.

All day we’ve heard people saying that Duke gets all the calls and UCF was screwed, yada, yada, yada.

The Orlando paper jumped in with this article citing fans who think RJ Barrett fouled Aubrey Dawkins after Zion Williamson’s missed free throw in the closing seconds of the game. Other enterprising gripers wanted a hook-and-hold on Javin DeLaurier on the same play and two charges on Williamson on the play that got him to the line.

Oddly enough, most of those people aren’t complaining about the shot clock violation that was missed when the UCF shot clearly missed the rim - you could tell from one angle and also because the ball’s trajectory was unaffected and the spin continued as it was (if it had made contact it would have not have continued on the same line).

They’re also not complaining about Tre Jones’ defense on BJ Taylor or that Dawkins missed the tip-in that followed. Nor is anyone complaining that Dawkins missed an uncontested alley-oop a few plays prior...or that no one else was in position for the tip-in. Or that Tacko Fall was inside the restricted area when he was called for his fifth.

Johnny Dawkins, as he so often has been, was the epitome of class. Here’s what he had to say afterwards: “You have a terrific game, and I thought the game was reffed great. I have no issues with how the game was reffed. It’s a game you have to make plays. Unfortunately, we just didn’t make enough plays. They made one more play than we made, and that’s how it was going most of the evening. They came up with one more big one. That’s all it was.

“I think [Williamson’s] drive to the basket was strong, and you have to call what you see. I have no issues with that. So that’s the nature of our game.”

So it this. Of course officials make mistakes. That doesn’t mean fans - or worse, sportswriters - should make excuses.

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