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Rick Barnes changes tune on the foul called on Lamonte Turner vs. Purdue

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He was confident that it was a foul. Now? Not so much.

Purdue v Tennessee Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Tennessee’s season came to an end last week in a Sweet 16 matchup against Purdue after a controversial call sent the game into overtime. Lamonte Turner was charged with a foul against Carsen Edwards, who was shooting a three pointer from the corner for the win.

Edwards missed, but hit two of three free throws to send the game to overtime. Purdue took charge in the extra period, eventually winning 99-94.

“It was a foul,” Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes said emphatically after the game. Now after a few days to digest and watch replays, Barnes isn’t so sure.

Last night on Vol Calls, Barnes changed his tune on the season-defining moment.

“The angle where the ref was standing was the same angle I was looking at. Where I was, I couldn’t tell how far Lamonte had gone by him, but I did see there was contact.”

“You look at it from a different angle, it looks like his leg goes out, because the ball was four feet out of his hands. He didn’t affect the shot. You want to contest it.”

“And I think Lamonte is being competitive. Honestly, I’ve had people tell me it wasn’t a foul either. But in a split second decision like that, it’s hard.” (Quotes via 247 Sports)

It’s one of those plays that looks different in real time than it does on replays. It was a savvy, veteran move from Edwards to put the pressure on the referees in that key spot. Foul or not, you hate to see such an incredible game and season come down to one split second decision from an official.

It’s a moment Tennessee fans won’t soon forget. For Lamonte Turner, a no-call in the Purdue-Virginia game brought back all of his emotions again.

That’s a cold reminder that Tennessee could have been in the elite eight had one split second decision gone their way.

Sure, Ryan Cline could have missed one of his seven three pointers. Tennessee could have made one more free throw. The Vols could have come out with more energy in the first half. But as the years go by, people will remember this game for that call at the end — the same way they remember that Tennessee-Michigan game for the “charge” called on Jarnell Stokes.