Blog Entry

BracketBusters has dramatic, controversial start

Posted on: February 18, 2011 10:00 pm
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Posted by Matt Norlander


What a great way kick off BracketBusters.

At the very least, it was a game of note, impact and controversy. From that perspective, it delivered all anyone could ask of it.

Putting VCU-Wichita State on a 7 p.m. Friday-night telecast isn't the easiest way to bring the country in to watch mid-major basketball. And even if the game wasn't played with the highest of quality, it was close, and back and forth, and had us wondering who would win until the end. So, for that, I'm thankful. Virginia Commonwealth-Wichita State had six ties, 12 lead changes and one bad call that lead to VCU winning it, 68-67, likely killing Wichita State's (22-6) at-large chances in the process.

That's sort of the point of this whole made-for-TV BracketBusters thing. The Shockers have now lost four home games and can still only claim Tulsa as their best win.

The crux of the controversy: After Wichita State's Joe Ragland hit two free throws with less than four seconds remaining, VCU's Joey Rodriguez sprinted down the floor and was then fouled on a questionable call with .8 seconds remaining. Rodgriguez, facing a maniacal crowd that violently waved its arms and posters and other crazy, elongated distraction-makers, calmly sank both his free throws to give the Rams the lead.

Wichita State's David Kyles couldn't hit the game-winning shot from 3.

The foul call on Rodriguez was all too kind for a team to receive on the road. The view from the far end of the court didn't suggest there was much contact at all. Credit Rodriguez for selling the body language on what was a miserable shot choice; the Shockers' defense did force him into such a bad shot.

When you look at how the second half played out, Shaka Smart's (above) team was fortunate to win, not only because of the gift whistle on Rodriguez (and I'm not bent out of shape over it; I just couldn't believe he got the call), but there were some bad fouls and turnovers by the Rams down the stretch. Yet they come out with the win.

VCU (21-8) now has wins over UCLA, Old Dominion and Wichita State. It's not the bag full of impressive, but should the team reach the CAA finals, it probably is going to get a bid.

Photo: AP
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Category: NCAAB
Comments

Since: Jan 24, 2011
Posted on: February 19, 2011 3:09 pm
 

BracketBusters has dramatic, controversial start




Since: Feb 11, 2011
Posted on: February 19, 2011 2:28 pm
 

BracketBusters has dramatic, controversial start




Since: Mar 11, 2009
Posted on: February 19, 2011 1:01 pm
 

BracketBusters has dramatic, controversial start




Since: Nov 22, 2010
Posted on: February 19, 2011 9:31 am
 

BracketBusters has dramatic, controversial start

What your article fails to mention is that there was CLEARLY no foul the play before this that put Wichita St. up by 1 on free throws in the same fashion.  The second foul only made up for the first bad call.



Since: Dec 19, 2006
Posted on: February 19, 2011 9:03 am
 

BracketBusters has dramatic, controversial start

The Rodriguez foul with .8 sec left was a good call, the replays do not do it justice, as all the replays I saw were too far away to see the contact right before the shot, but there was contact right as he was going into the act of shooting. No doubt. Sorry Shocker fans......shocks on you. 
Actually a George Mason fan btw....




Since: Feb 19, 2011
Posted on: February 19, 2011 12:16 am
 

BracketBusters has dramatic, controversial start

The officials are always part of the game.    Winning teams need build a big enough lead to not be impacted by one call, good or bad.    This is a quality road win for a basketball program that has launched a growing list of successful coaching careers and NBA players.   Go VCU!!



Since: Jun 16, 2010
Posted on: February 19, 2011 12:14 am
 

BracketBusters has dramatic, controversial start

Calls like this no one can ever get a perfect bracket. This year was suppose to be the year for Wichita State to be number one for Missouri Valley. There is still the Missouri Valley Tournament, they may win it all the way.



Since: Jan 14, 2011
Posted on: February 19, 2011 12:02 am
 

BracketBusters has dramatic, controversial start

Regardless of the quality of the call, how does "on the road, no less" add to your comment?  Shouldn't the calls be made independent of location?




Since: Mar 4, 2008
Posted on: February 18, 2011 11:29 pm
 

BracketBusters has dramatic, controversial start

That had to be one of the wrost calls ever for that kind of situation and non contact.  How in the world can that ref have made that call ?  On the road no less ?  They were CAA officials were they not though ?


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