North Carolina won, the Zags lost, but the biggest losers of Sunday’s National Championship game were the refs, and in turn, made loyal watchers sink into their seats with disappointment.
The entire game featured 44 fouls, 22 on each side, and 27 in the second half. 44 fouls in 40 minutes… But hey, at least they were fair. And what makes all of these fouls worse, college rules disqualify players after 5 fouls.
What was the plan for the refs coming into the game? “Let’s call a bunch of fouls so we can stop the game and have fans really on the edge of their seat.” No. There was zero flow to the second half, and it ruined an interesting game.
Arguably the hottest player in the game, Zach Collins for Gonzaga, fouled out with 5 minutes to play. Other star players were playing with 4 fouls, which makes them play differently. There was an obvious hesitation to be aggressive and make plays. Soft basketball is bad basketball, and stars like Justin Jackson, Peter Karnowski, and others were limited in their play.
The main message to the refs: swallow your whistles. Let the kids play and decide the outcome. Call the necessary fouls, and don’t you dare change the outcome of the game.
Twitter was furious with the refs too. LeBron James (maybe he shouldn’t be talking about bad refs) and Dwayne Wade tweeted about watching the second half.
Man I can’t watch this anymore man! I would like to see the kids decide who wins the game! I mean Bruh!! Smh
— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 4, 2017
Let these kids play. Put the whistles away.
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) April 4, 2017
See @NCAA!! Normal fans aren’t the only ones who care about how the game is being played. We deserve better.
This call had me going bananas.
One Refereeing Moment pic.twitter.com/KqeiQaJ8Q6
— Don Van Natta Jr. (@DVNJr) April 4, 2017
These calls, man. Unless the kid is on the ground from an intentional elbow, there is no reason to call this. Let the kids battle for position. Teams weight lift during the season for this reason. The stronger player will get better position.
The overall game was great. A close game all the way until the end, and that’s all a fan can ask for in a championship game. It’s just too bad the players did more standing around than trying to win.