Tuesday night was a tough one to stomach.
The Kentucky Wildcats had a promising first half, but the LSU Tigers were simply the better team when the game mattered most. LSU outscored Kentucky by 10 in the second half and controlled the game and didn’t trail after the 8:40 mark.
The problem is the final sequence of plays that ultimately decided the game. Kavell Bigby-Williams tipped in the game-winning shot on what was an obviously goaltend, no matter how you spin it.
Ball in the cylinder. pic.twitter.com/TqKqhgJHUT— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) February 13, 2019
However, there was actually a possible basketball interference by EJ Montgomery on the Skylar Mays layup attempt, which if called, would have given LSU a lead with about one second left.
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
Had refs been able to review basket interference, they would likely have called goal tending against UK on initial LSU attempt though EJ never touched ball. More of my photos coming soon. via @DarrellBird pic.twitter.com/eoImqNm5nN— Darrell Bird (@DarrellBird) February 13, 2019
If that had been called interference, LSU would have went up 73-71, and Kentucky would have got the ball back with about a second left to attempt a hail mary.
The unfortunate thing about that play is it really had no impact on Mays missing the shot, but it still appeared to be interference by Montgomery.
But because Montgomery’s had didn’t actually affect the shot, it may have not been interference.
You actually can reach your hand through the rim as long as you don't make it move/vibrate. As long as the ball isn't in the cylinder and you don't touch it. pic.twitter.com/FUB1qaS0sD— Alex Warneke, Take-Haver (@alexwarneke) February 13, 2019
I admittedly was under the impression that any player sticking his hand through the cylinder on a shot attempt was automatic basketball interference, but based on those rules, it may have not been.
Either way, LSU simply made more plays down the stretch and was the better team in the second half. Had the game gone into overtime, it’s fair to think the Tigers would have won anyway, but it would have been nice to see it decided there, not on a pair of controversial plays at the end of regulation.