Kentucky fans are trying to forget about the brutal loss to No. 19 LSU on Tuesday night, but there’s still great debate as to what happened on the final play of the game.
LSU won the game on a controversial tip-in by Kavell Bigby-Williams that appeared to have been goaltending, which gave the Tigers a 73-71 win. Had it not been called, Kentucky and LSU would have gone into overtime tied at 71-all.
Needless to say, that no-call cost Kentucky a chance to win in overtime, but the way LSU controlled the second half, it was far from a sure thing the Wildcats could win in the extra period.
Still, everyone was cheated out of an extra five minutes to decide what had become a thrilling game.
Despite the seemingly obvious no-call for goaltending on LSU, some argued that Kentucky’s EJ Montgomery actually interfered before the lay in which would have given LSU the basket anyways.
As you can see below Montgomery’s hand went through the net prior to the shot.
For all the UK fans crying for a goaltending call, EJ Montgomery put his entire arm through the net hitting the rim before the LSU player tipped it in, which by definition, is a goaltending on UK. pic.twitter.com/JyfSQy7kR4— Jon Sasser (@jsasser42) February 13, 2019
However, the fact Montgomery’s arm went through the net as Skylar Mays released his shot means there was no interference, according to former NCAA basketball official Gene Steratore.
Two things to consider at the end of #LSUvsUK. The contact by the UK player isn't basket interference as the ball is not on the rim and the contact didn't alter the outcome of the shot. However, the contact by LSU is goaltending because the ball is within the cylinder.— Gene Steratore (@GeneSteratore) February 13, 2019
Clearly, Montgomery’s contact with the net came before the ball hit the rim, meaning the refs were right not to call interference on Kentucky. However, Steratore made it clear that Bigby-Williams touching the ball after Mays’s shot already was within the cylinder was a goaltend.
Despite the final call being the dagger Kentucky had an eight-point lead at the half and can only blame themselves for the loss. They will have a chance for redemption Saturday against No. 1 Tennessee.