College officiating is widely scrutinized in every conference, but in the end of Tennessee Volunteers vs. LSU Tigers, you can kind of get an idea of how difficult their jobs can be.
In a tie game, in overtime, as time was expiring, Tennessee’s Grant Williams’ wildly collide with LSU’s Javonte Smart and was called for a foul. In unsurprising fashion it was actually a colossal flop by Williams, something he’s become very prone to doing.
To his credit, it’s worked more often than not, as he’s averaging 7.27 attempts per game, which ranks 21st in the nation.
Only this time, it backfired spectacularly and ultimately cost his team a very important conference game.
You can take a look for yourself and decide if it was a blatant flop by Grant Williams (it was.)
The ending to the Tennessee/LSU game was bonkers pic.twitter.com/08zMgDANt1— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 23, 2019
Perhaps it was karma for his flop against Vanderbilt, which was probably a foul, but the way he sold it helped draw a Flagrant I call that ultimately helped the Vols avoid a massive upset:
Sorry Tennessee fans. I watched Grant Williams run into someone, flop and get rewarded with an LSU flagrant 1. Williams tried the same trick in OT and it cost them the game. Williams relies on the whistle way too much. He should have fouled out.— Ricky Dunlop (@slikrik2003) February 23, 2019
Still, this is now two fortunate outcomes for LSU and they came during their two biggest conference games of the year. The Tigers now hold the tie-breaker advantage against both Kentucky and Tennessee. It would have been ideal for Cats if the Vols beat LSU on the road today and then lost to Kentucky next week in Knoxville. Instead, Kentucky will still need some help from LSU as regular-season play nears completion.
The flop aside, credit to LSU for putting together one heck of a season to this point. Beating Kentucky and then beating Tennessee without Tremont Waters is impressive. Like most everyone, when I heard the LSU was going to be playing without Waters I gave them little to no chance at the upset.
Javonte Smart stepped up in a major way scoring 29 points, and at one point, 11 straight. The kid balled out.
The SEC Tournament is going to be fun, and the league should make a lot of noise in the NCAA Tournament.