Tennessee Volunteers unable to beat both Mississippi State and poor officiating

I'm sure Will will have a much more reasoned post game for this one, but I want to focus on the last minute of the game. Play-by-play style.

  • Mississippi State up 61-57 with a minute to play. Vols run a play for Wayne Chism to shoot a three, and he hits it. MSU 61-60. The referees were not involved in this play.
  • MSU runs some time off the clock and then drives to the basket. The dribbler is seriously not even touched, but he falls down cutting, so a foul is called on Wayne Chism. This is the worst call I have ever seen. Commentators: "Bruce is beside himself." Upon seeing the replay: "Oh my goodness, no contact whatsoever. Wow, that's an anticipation call." MSU hits the first and misses the second. MSU 62, Vols 60.
  • Vols call time out to set up a play with 12 seconds left. J.P. Prince passes the ball in to Bobby Maze, who passes it back to Prince. Prince takes off for the basket but runs into an MSU guy. One ref calls a foul on MSU and another calls a travel on Prince. I don't know. It looked like he traveled, but the foul may have caused it. The refs decide on the travel foul, which was probably the right wrong call. MSU ball, MSU up 62-60.
  • Prince at the line. Hits the first. MSU up 62-61. Prince misses the second, but two MSU players knock the ball out of bounds. Vol ball, down by one.
  • Tyler Smith to in-bound the pass. The refs arms are counting down the five seconds he has to get it done. At four and 3/4, he calls time out. The ref calls a five-second violation. This, too, is a bad call. Not quite egregiously bad like the first against Tennessee, but clearly wrong. Commentators: "Bruce Pearl is beside himself." Yes, again. On the replay: "Oh, boy. I thought he asked for it just before. Most officials would give it to him, too." MSU shooting free throws, up 62-61.
  • MSU to in-bound the ball with 9.6 seconds left. Prince kicks it out of bounds. Now MSU must in-bound it stationary. They get it to a guy in the corner, and two Vols immediately trap him. He steps out of bounds. Vol ball under their own basket, down by one.
  • Tyler Smith in-bounds the ball to Prince, who immediately passes it back to Smith, but it's intercepted. MSU player fouled. MSU up by one and shooting two.
  • MSU hits both free throws to go up by three. Pearl designs a nice play to get Scotty Hopson a three, but he misses. Game over.

This is just the end of the game, too. About ten minutes into the second half, the game thread is rife with complaints about poor officiating and allegations of a conspiracy to get more SEC teams intot the NCAA Tournament. I don't know about that.

What I do know, though, as that there was one egregiously wrong call that went against Tennessee and another that was clearly wrong, all in the last sixty seconds. Look, these guys make mistakes, too, but to be honest -- and I never say this -- this looked worse than just wrong. Maybe it doesn't get to "intentional," but it most certainly was really, really bad.

Oh, well. On to Selection Sunday and the announcements of where and against whom we'll be seeking revenge.

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