Sidelines with John Clay

NCAA Tournament links: Final Four controversial calls

Virginia’s Kyle Guy (5) is lifted off the floor by teammates after he sunk three free throws to win the game for Virginia against Auburn in a semifinal of the NCAA Tournament Final Four on Saturday, April 6, 2019, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Virginia advanced, 63-62.
Virginia’s Kyle Guy (5) is lifted off the floor by teammates after he sunk three free throws to win the game for Virginia against Auburn in a semifinal of the NCAA Tournament Final Four on Saturday, April 6, 2019, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Virginia advanced, 63-62. TNS

NCAA Final Four links for Sunday:

Auburn’s hearts were ripped out on national stage, writes Joseph Goodman of “It was a box canyon of boos. After it was all over, this football stadium where they played the basketball game was a vast, deep hole of what the heck just happened. And then everyone just booed, and kept booing and then stood around and looked at each other in disbelief and then booed some more.”

Virginia redefines unfathomable, says David Teel of the Virginian-Pilot. “You thought Virginia-Purdue was unfathomable? You thought Ty Jerome’s missed free throw, Mamadi Diakite’s backtap to Kihei Clark, Clark’s pass to Diakite and Diakite’s catch-and-shoot 12-footer to force overtime a week ago was the most madcap sequence in NCAA tournament annals?”

Questionable calls at end of Virginia-Auburn, says Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports. “Just a few minutes after one of the wildest and most controversial Final Four endings ever, a national championship-winning coach was walking through a back hallway at U.S. Bank Stadium. He had no dog in the fight either way, so I had to ask him, ‘What did you think of The Call?’ He didn’t love it.”


Kyle Guy still had to make those free throws, writes Courtney Cronin of “ Kyle Guy heard the referee’s whistle right away. When he buried his face in his jersey after getting fouled by Auburn guard Samir Doughty in the process of shooting a 3-pointer on Virginia’s final possession of Saturday’s national semifinal win, the junior sharpshooter wasn’t expressing relief. Guy had a mere moment to lock in with his team’s fate resting on his shoulders.”

Foul call will overshadow game, says Myron Medcalf of “A great Final Four game deserved a better ending. For three, maybe four seconds, Auburn thought it would be playing in the national title game for the first time in school history. The Tigers, who launched an explosive run in the final minutes to take the lead over Virginia in the Final Four, embraced one another and screamed in unison after Kyle Guy’s go-ahead 3-pointer over Samir Doughty’s right-in-his-chest pressure clanked off the rim, and the final buzzer sounded.”

Michigan State couldn’t finish its comeback, writes Kyle Auston if “Matt McQuaid thought the shot was in and that he had tied the game. With 1:50 left in a national semifinal game against Texas Tech and his team trailing by three, the Michigan State senior got a clean at a 3-pointer from the corner on a pass from Aaron Henry. He launched it and watched the ball went in and out.”

Chris Beard takes Texas Tech to new heights, writes Kyle Boone of CBS Sports. “ Texas Tech coach Chris Beard is a psycho. Or maybe a psychic. Maybe a little of both. Don’t believe me, just ask senior guard Brandone Francis. ‘He’s psycho,’ Francis told CBS Sports after Texas Tech’s 61-51 victory over Michigan State in the national semifinals on Saturday. ‘I mean psycho as in, like, sickly competitive.’”

[NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament bracket]

Beard’s success no surprise to his daughters, reports Matt Dotray of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. “Texas Tech basketball coach Chris Beard has a support staff that’s especially active this time of year. His three daughters make up that support staff. Avery, Ella, and Margo Beard have traveled with their dad and his team’s historic run in the NCAA Tournament. The coach’s daughters have been in the stands cheering, on the court with the team doing drills, and in the media seats during press conferences watching their dad take questions.”

[Chris Beard sacrifices everything but Pop Tarts]

Right time, right place for Matt Mooney, writes Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News. “This is Matt Mooney’s moment, and in more than just a basketball sense. He is not only a Final Four hero. He is not only the newest member of the Texas Tech athletics pantheon, residing now with Zach Thomas, Michael Crabtree, E.J. Holub and that guy back there in the fifth row of the U.S. Bank Stadium, Patrick Mahomes. Mooney is a symbol.”

Red Raiders run should come as no surprise, writes Michael Rosenberg of Sports Illustrated. “Take the names off the jerseys, which a physical Texas Tech team almost literally did to Michigan State on Saturday, and almost nothing about this is surprising. Not the score (Texas Tech 61, Michigan State 51), not the spot in Monday’s title bout against Virginia, and not, if it happens, a national championship parade in Lubbock. The Red Raiders are that good.”


NCAA Tournament final

Who: Virginia vs. Texas Tech

When: Monday, April 8 2019

Time: 9:20 p.m.


NCAA finals history

2018 - Villanova 79, Michigan 62

2017 - North Carolina 71, Gonzaga 65

2016 - Villanova 77, North Carolina 74

2015 - Duke 68, Wisconsin 63

2014 - Connecticut 60, Kentucky 54

2013 - Louisville 82, Michigan 76

2012 - Kentucky 67, Kansas 59

2011 - Connecticut 53, Butler 41

2010 - Duke 61, Butler 59

2009 - North Carolina 89, Michigan State 72

2008 - Kansas 75, Memphis 68 (OT)

2007 - Florida 84, Ohio State 75

2006 - Florida 73, UCLA 57

2005 - North Carolina 75, Illinois 70

2004 - Connecticut 82, Georgia Tech 73

2003 - Syracuse 81, Kansas 78

2002 - Maryland 64, Indiana 52

2001 - Duke 82, Arizona 72

2000 - Michigan State 89, Florida 76

1999 - Connecticut 77, Duke 74