Saturday’s telecast, along with the officiating performance, put a dent into the quality of the contest.
The Kentucky Wildcats and Auburn Tigers put on a firework show, dueling back and forth until the buzzer sounded. While there were many “questionable” moments, one stood out above all.
With 1:53 left in regulation, Kentucky’s PJ Washington fouled Auburn’s Horace Spencer on a dunk attempt. Yes, the correct call was indeed a foul on Washington. However, that wasn’t the final slap of his wrist.
Spencer took a tumble following the contact from Washington, sending him to the ground and resulting in a sizable gash to the side of Spencer’s head. Spencer was forced to retreat to the locker room in search of medical attention.
Horace Spencer GUSHING blood after gettin fouled by PJ Washington pic.twitter.com/jxUMXd33nR— VERSACEBOYENT (@VersaceBoyEnt2) January 19, 2019
My view of Kentucky forward PJ Washington's flagrant foul call on Auburn forward Horace Spencer as Kentucky defeats Auburn 82-80. Spencer left the game with a cut above his eye but returned later. more photos: https://t.co/X9z4w1iPVS pic.twitter.com/g2wGcLsNlF— Jake Crandall (@jakevcrandall) January 20, 2019
Washington’s assessed call was then taken to the replay booth and upgraded to a flagrant one foul. Multiple shots appeared that Washington’s elbow didn’t come in contact with Spencer’s head, but that’s not how the officials saw things unfold.
The contact, overall, was nothing more than a solid foul. Spencer’s spill to the floor (resulting in the blood) was felt to cause the flagrant to be assessed.
Refs should be embarrassed there. It was a hard foul on PJ Washington, but looked worse because of the fall. If there was no blood, there's zero percent chance it is a flagrant. Embarrassing, EMBARRSSING call for the refs— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) January 19, 2019
Calipari asked what the explanation was for PJ's flagrant. "I don't know," shakes his head a bunch, makes a faces, does not say more.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) January 19, 2019
This isn’t the first time that Washington has been on the unfair end of a flagrant call this season.
Back in December, when Kentucky laced up their shoes against Seton Hall, Washington took a jab to the throat that was deemed a “common foul.” This situation was clearly more “flagrant” material than Saturday’s but, of course, there wasn’t blood in the picture.