The Kentucky Wildcats’ ten game winning streak has come to end at the hands of the LSU Tigers. It was a back and forth game all night, even with Kentucky struggling to do anything against the length of the Tigers. There would be game this season where a super long, athletic team would dominate Kentucky and it happened tonight.
PJ Washington again had 20 points, extending his terrific conference play, and also added nine rebounds. Keldon Johnson added 16 points and Tyler Herro added 12 of his own.
A silent killer for Kentucky tonight was free throws, as the Wildcats shot 16/23 from the line. Also the refs were really bad.
But the big story from this game is the obvious no-call at the buzzer that gave LSU the win. It was clearly offensive interference and was clear as day. But, because the officials did not do their job in the first place and swallowed their whistles on the final play, they cannot review if it was interference or not, or so they say. Much like the NFL couldn’t review the missed PI call in the Rams-Saints game.
I would expect the NCAA to immediately change that rule for next season. Here’s what social media had to say about the controversial loss:
Ball in the cylinder. pic.twitter.com/TqKqhgJHUT— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) February 13, 2019
LSU wins. Those refs better get the hell out of Lexington!!!— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) February 13, 2019
WOW. Officials say not goal-tending.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) February 13, 2019
FINAL: No. 19 LSU 73, No. 5 Kentucky 71.
Cats' 10-game winning streak comes to a controversial end and UK loses at home for just the ninth time in 10 seasons under Calipari.
To quote you my friend— KY Clips (@KY_Clips) February 13, 2019
“Most college refs suck”
Jay Williams on ESPN post-game: “I know that it is not reviewable, but that ball was still in the cylinder. What a terrible way to lose for Kentucky.”— Big Blue Nation (@BigBlue9ation) February 13, 2019
That’s 100% a goal tend.— Tod Lanter (@tod_lanterIII) February 13, 2019
How?— Brad Calipari (@bradcalipari) February 13, 2019
Here at Rupp the official looked like he waved it off. Went over to Cal and waved his hands like it didn’t count, then they counted it— Ian Teasley (@ianteasley) February 13, 2019
Cal on basket interference not being reviewable: Says it's like when UK lost to Wisconsin in the Final Four when a clear shot-clock violation was not reviewable, then they changed the rule. "We're like Wilt Chamberlain. We change rules." https://t.co/LaFSW8d0vv— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) February 13, 2019
NCAA instant replay rules... See 4b: pic.twitter.com/zSOoZRMM3L— Maggie Davis (@MaggieDavisKSR) February 13, 2019
Ok but seriously when does overtime start— Drew Franklin (@DrewFranklinKSR) February 13, 2019
Kentucky's past three losses are by a combined five points. UK is now 20-4 on the season.— Derek Terry (@DerekSTerry) February 13, 2019
But was there interference by EJ Montgomery?
Everyone is talking about the tip-in, but this was a pretty clear goaltend by E.J. Montgomery on the initial shot. The refs missed the call against Kavell Bigby-Williams, but that tip-in shouldn't have mattered if they had seen Montgomery's hand go through the rim. pic.twitter.com/AJwTWrs2s2— Rob Dauster (@RobDauster) February 13, 2019
The difference here is that if they make the (correct) call against Montgomery, Kentucky still has a chance with ~1.3 seconds left to win the game. Either way, that bucket counts 100 times out of 100. Helluva win for LSU. I did not think they had this in them.— Rob Dauster (@RobDauster) February 13, 2019
For all the people tweeting me that putting your hand through the rim is legal, you can see EJ grab the rim on both angles here. The second angle, you can see the overhead camera shake when he does it. In my mind, that is a goaltend. pic.twitter.com/I9ninVSiGU— Rob Dauster (@RobDauster) February 13, 2019
Seth Greenberg says that EJ Montgomery play is not Goaltending bc ball wasn’t yet on the rim...I didn’t know that— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) February 13, 2019
So it looks like my original point was still true...Kentucky got jobbed by a stupid rule
We still should have won though
As I read this, EJ’s hand in the net doesn’t qualify as basket interference. pic.twitter.com/sFOwGeCRmB— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) February 13, 2019
Regardless, a loss is a loss. Now, Kentucky has to regroup and get focused on Saturday’s matchup with the top-ranked Tennessee Volunteers, which suddenly feels like a must-win game.