First off: that's a atrocious way to end a game. Two guys go for loose ball with less than a second on the clock, and a foul is called? No way. Not in a tie game. I don't care if there's contact (not to mention that normally goes uncalled anyways). That's like ifGordon Hayward's buzzer beater went in last year, but the refs waved it off becauseMatt Howardset a moving screen. You never make that call. Ever. I don't know how many times I have to say it. But that's an awful way to see a great game end.
Author's note: I'm in no way trying to say that UCLA would've won the game (I think Kansas would've put it together and pulled it out anyways), but they deserved a chance at overtime.
The Jayhawks finally showed vulnerability tonight. I wasn't expecting it to come against a UCLA game coming off back-to-back losses against VCU and Villanova. It'll be interesting to see how much better Kansas is in 16 (I believe) days when Selby comes back, but their backcourt was not the problem tonight. The problem was the Morris twins just getting embarrassed inside. Yes,Marcus Morrisfinished with a respectable 16 points (13 in the second period), but both of Kansas' star big men went AWOL offensively the first half. Not to mention on the other side of the courtTyler Honeycuttand Josh Smith combined to go 17-27 from the field, finishing with a combined 50 points and 22 rebounds.
Sure both Honeycutt and Smith played great games, but the Morris brothers are going to have to show up more than that if they want to keep that 63 game home streak alive. Do you think Baylor's Perry Jones andQuincy Acywon't take advantage of weak interior defense? Do you thinkCurtis KellyandWally Judgeare going to sit idly on offense for the Wildcats? The Big 12 is full of talented frontcourts this year, and Kansas can't afford to lose the battle inside against teams with better backcourts than UCLA. Frankly, if UCLA has a better point guard that can run halfcourt sets, I think they would've won. Tyrel ReedandTyshawn Taylorlit up the Bruins, blowing by their guards at will. Not to mention Taylor's five steals.
After the game, Bill Self noted "the crowd won this game for us." An errant last-second whistle didn't hurt either.