Kentucky got burned by the officials today, but that doesn't take away whatsoever from the outstanding play of the Georgia Bulldogs. Make no mistake, the Bulldogs made great plays down the stretch and a great play at the end with their best player fouled out. The officials once again swallowed their whistle at the end of the game and failed to call an obvious foul on Georgia on the baseline out of bounds. I complained about this yesterday when they failed to call an obvious foul on Tyler Smith right in front of the official, and in combination with this disaster, I think it is time for Gerald Boudreaux to resign as supervisor of officials. These no-calls are unquestionably happening under the direct instructions of Boudreaux. I have complained several times about Boudreax's bizarre and indefensible arguments for obviously wrong calls, and I am done arguing about it. Get out, Boudreax. You are bad for the league, and officiating in the SEC is at an all-time low.
But make no mistake, the officials did not cost us the game, poor shooting by the Wildcats and outstanding, hard-nosed basketball by Dennis Felton's Georgia Bulldogs did. Derek Jasper reverted to his old self, and only God knows why. Ramel Bradley, despite his heroics to get the team the last-second lead, played very poorly overall. Given the events of the past two days, I think the kids can be forgiven for not being 110%. They played hard, but the Cats made many defensive errors that ultimately cost them, and looked much more fatigued than normal. Despite their outstanding effort to get the lead at the end of OT, a miracle, challenged three by Zach Swansey ended the Cats' hopes of making a run in the SEC tournament. Somehow, I feel like the heavens themselves are determined to frustrate Kentucky's post season hopes. Truth be told, though, Georgia was facing exactly the same difficulties, so using the bizarre events of this weekend as an excuse simply sill not fly, and will not be made here.
So now we must wait and hope, and who knows what the ultimate outcome will be. I confess, I am extremely frustrated and angry at the outcome of this game for reasons already discussed, but I am proud of Kentucky for giving it their all. Once again, they left it all out there on the floor, but as we have discovered many times, prayers are frequently answered this time of year, and once again, they were answered for Kentucky's opponent. Having to win close, grind-it-out games is always fraught with the possibility of an untimely 3-pointer at the end of the game, and Kentucky has dodged that all year -- until now.
Tomorrow, we will know the fate of Kentucky vis-a-vis the NCAA tournament. But as Andy Glockner of ESPN said, this game now gives the NCAA an excuse to exclude the Wildcats. I don't think they will, but if it happens, I don't think anyone will be totally shocked. So for now, we are stuck with waiting and hoping. Maybe our prayers will be answered, but it is also possible that circumstances have conspired against us to the point of negating our hopes. I still think the Cats are in, but the selection committee will not be taking my opinion into consideration.