One of the first instances of referees screwing a team at the NCAA Tournament this year involved New Jersey's Seton Hall University men's basketball team in their first round match-up Friday afternoon versus Arkansas.
Seton Hall the no. 9 seed in the tournament played no. 8 Arkansas tight all game, taking an 8-point lead at one point and mostly dominating the rebounding battle.
Arkansas's defense on the other hand was outstanding. The Razorbacks' perimeter forced the Pirates into several turnovers, while their big men contested nearly every shot at the rim.
With the Pirates down 71-72 with 18 seconds to play, Seton Hall's Desi Rodriguez attempted to give an intentional foul to Arkansas' Jaylen Bradford, who tripped.
After initially calling a common foul the referees changed their minds and determined it was a flagrant 1, torpedoing Seton Hall's chance to even the score.
The controversial call enraged basketball fans, who pointed out that while Rodriguez was not making a play on the ball, the intentional fouling strategy has been used in basketball at the end of close games for decades and has never required a 'basketball play.'
Meanwhile, tripping, at any other point in the game would have been considered incidental contact and a common foul.
The Pirates may not have won anyway, but this isn't the way any team wants to go out in the Big Dance.
Seton Hall handled the situation with dignity while Twitter screamed "BULLS**T!" on the team's behalf.
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