"We got Cheated"
So says DD after tonight's clusterf**k debacle in Buffalo. A circus ending to a circus season. Absolutely unbelievable....
Here is what happened, so far as can be determined. Obviously, I am relying on Todd Walker's call and DD's post game comments....
Buffalo has the ball with :24 left. There is a differential of between 1 and 2 seconds between the shot clock and the game clock. BG is up 2.
So, Buffalo runs a lousy set, we play some D, and Buffalo shoots an airball as the shot clock expires. Apparently, the game clock also expires and the buzzer sounds. Dakich says he asked the referee if the game is over, and he says it is. The Falcons leave the floor, apparently with the referee who told Dakich the game was over.
Back on the floor, the referees apparently decide to see if the game is really over. In all fairness, this is entirely plausible. In fact, Todd Walker began talking right away about time being put back onto the clock. Since there was a differential and there was a shot clock violation, it is plausible that we would have to inbound. They decide there are .6 seconds left. There was also some confusion about us getting the ball. If BG gets the ball before the shot clock buzzer goes, then it is just a turnover and the clock can run out.
Like I say, a clusterf**k.
So, the refs decide to haul BG out of the locker room and finish the game. Nothing really unreasonable has happened yet. According to Dakich, some of our players were already in the shower, so it took us some time to get suited up and back onto the floor.
On the floor, chaos is reigning. Coach Witherspoon is hitting the buzzer again and again to try and create urgency around the fact the Falcons are delaying the game.
We come back on the floor--but I think we only thought we were going to have to play less than a second. Matt Lefeld didn't even have socks on.
Here is where it gets jacked up. The officials decide to throw a technical foul at us for not coming back on time. The Moroccan dude for Buffalo nails both free throws, and the game is tied.
Oh, the humanity.
Of course, we get blown out in the OT. We had a road game won, and we lost it like that.
In my opinion, the T is a terrible call. I can understand bringing us out, but there's no reason to do anything except let us inbound the ball with .6 seconds and let us go home with the win we earned. Instead, the officials decided the game for themselves. I just think it is a wrong way to end a game.
Now, everything up to here has been from DD's perspective. A similar thing happened a couple of years ago in Blacksburg when VaTech tipped the ball into their own basket right at the buzzer. Direct from the official transcript, here is what DD said he did...
"I was out of here as soon as I saw the one short guy said good. I got out of here as fast as I could, you know, let's go with it. I like Coach Greenberg, I'm going to go see how he's doing afterward, but the heck with that, I'm getting out of here. Make them drag us back out but we weren't coming, we were going to keep it just the way it was. What a ballgame!"
So, it is not beyond the pale that DD was doing some gamesmanship---even with getting players into the shower. Now, I guess I think it is unlikely. Why would he do that? To avoid making an inbound pass?
DD was really angry in the post game show. He had players there as witnesses, and said we got "cheated" and he was prepared for the consequences. Walker said it would be reviewed, and Dakich said that it wouldn't, essentially that no one was going to care what happened there.
What a season. It is the most bizarre end to a Falcon game I can recall. To put it on top of a terrible season on a game when we really needed a win--it was our most likely chance to win still on the MAC schedule....it is a shame, and I feel really badly for our guys and our staff.
That's a long, snowy bus ride home from Buffalo after that.
Here's the Blade story.
Winner of the not surprising quote of the week:
Bitterly disappointed, Bowling Green coach Dan Dakich went into a profanity laced rant after the game.