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Monday, March 21, 2011

Williams lifts Arizona past Texas 70-69

Texas players including Gary Johnson (1), J'Covan Brown (14) and Tristan Thompson (13) return to the court after a timeout against Arizona during the second half of a West Regional NCAA tournament third-round college basketball game on Sunday, March 20, 2011, in Tulsa, Okla.

Texas players including Gary Johnson (1), J'Covan Brown (14) and Tristan Thompson (13) return to the court after a timeout against Arizona during the second half of a West Regional NCAA tournament third-round college basketball game on Sunday, March 20, 2011, in Tulsa, Okla.

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— Derrick Williams is now 2-for-2 in game-saving plays in the NCAA tournament.

The Arizona sophomore and Pac-10 Player of the Year made his second in as many tournament games Sunday night, completing a three-point play with 9.6 seconds remaining to lift the Wildcats to a 70-69 win over Texas.

Williams also had the saving block with 2 seconds remaining in Arizona's opening 77-75 win over Memphis on Friday. He struggled for much of the game Sunday but finished with 17 points, including the final three.

"I wasn't surprised by the block against Memphis," Williams said. "I am a little surprised by the shot I made today. I haven't seen the replay yet, but I wasn't looking at the basket. I was looking down so I wouldn't have a hard fall.

"I was surprised it went in, but at the same time I'm glad it went in."

The win lifts the No. 5 seed Wildcats (29-7) into a regional semifinal matchup with top-seeded Duke on Thursday. It marks a triumphant return to the second weekend of play in the school's first trip back to the tournament after last season's absence ended its 25-year appearance streak.

"I can't tell you how excited we are to be moving on to the Sweet 16," second-year Arizona coach Sean Miller said. "It's one thing to be a part of this tournament, but when you have the experience of advancing, it's second-to-none as a college basketball program, players, coaches."

The win over the No. 4 seed Longhorns didn't come without its share of controversy. Texas (28-8) trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half before J'Covan Brown scored 21 of his 23 in the second to lead the Longhorns back into the game.

Brown was 13 of 13 on free throws, bringing his two-game tournament total to a perfect 25 of 25. His jumper in the lane with just over a minute remaining gave Texas a 69-67 lead, its first since it was up 12-11 early in the game.

The shot appeared as though it would keep the Longhorns in the lead for good after Williams misfired on a go-ahead attempt with 14.5 seconds remaining. Texas freshman Tristan Thompson blocked the attempt, which Jordan Hamilton corralled before calling a timeout for the Longhorns.

Following the timeout is when the fun began, at least for Arizona. Texas' Cory Joseph struggled to inbound the ball against the swarming Wildcats defense and appeared to call a timeout.

However, referee Richard Cartmell called Joseph for a five-second violation, though replays showed he appeared to make the call before reaching five.

"I had five seconds before the kid turned and signaled a timeout," Cartmell said in a statement. "I had to make a decision whether it was five seconds or a timeout, and I made the decision it was five seconds because I had counted five seconds before he called timeout."

Texas coach Rick Barnes only wished afterward that replays could have been used to determine if the correct call had been made.

"They have rules in other leagues and even on an out-of-bounds play," Barnes said. "There are certain things that can be corrected. In our game, there's not.

"We've got to be willing to make the rules that are right. Because at the very end if you truly want the players to determine it, the officials have to be willing, the NCAA has to be willing to say, OK, we're going to get this right."

The Wildcats took advantage of their second chance. Following the inbound, Williams set a pick for Kyle Fogg and slipped underneath the Texas defense before receiving a pass from Fogg. Williams then drove the baseline and made the blind shot to tie the game at 69 while being fouled by his former AAU teammate Hamilton.

"To be honest, I didn't even feel contact at all," Hamilton said. "But the ref made up his mind and called a foul. There's nothing we can do about it now."

Williams' free throw put Arizona up 70-69 with 9.6 seconds remaining, leaving plenty of time for one final chance for the Longhorns.

Brown brought the ball up the court and drove into the lane and a trio of Wildcats defenders, including Williams. His wild shot went high off the glass and missed, leaving a mad scramble for the ball underneath the basket as time expired.

"Every player's going to think he got fouled in that situation, but it's hard for the refs to call it when the game's on the line," Brown said. "But things happen. I'm just trying to move on from it."

Comments

Hank Cross 9 years, 3 months ago

Take that DeLoss Dodds. How fitting that a P10 team ended UT's season considering that UT leveraged that conference to take over the B12.

Mike Putzier 9 years, 3 months ago

Personally, I hated to see them lose. I will cheer against them again next year, but cheer for all Big 12 teams during tournament time.

baldwinjhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Texas loses in the WORST officiated game ever....

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 3 months ago

I was very disappointed after this game. Barnes seems to coach his worst during NCAA Tourney tine.

KU_FanSince75 9 years, 3 months ago

@ jhawk7782--- I kind of agree. Although, Coach Barnes has a lot more class than Billy Tubbs, his coaching misfortunes remind me of Tubbs.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 3 months ago

Billy Tubbs..there's a name I DON'T miss. I remember him lobbying to join the Big 10

Steve Corder 9 years, 3 months ago

I simply don't know what a foul is anymore in college basketball. It's beginning to look more and more like the pro game. But I guess that's the "product" most fans want to see.

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 3 months ago

Ah man, we have to look at Williams teeth for another game.

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 3 months ago

"To be honest, I didn't even feel contact at all," Hamilton said. "But the ref made up his mind and called a foul. There's nothing we can do about it now."

I understand that Jordan Hamilton and Texas feel awful after their loss, and I think that the officiating left something to be desired, especially with regard to the 5-second call, but sometimes it's best to keep your mouth shut.

Jordan Hamilton definitely fouled Derrick Williams. But Arizona really shouldn't have had the ball.

AsadZ 9 years, 3 months ago

I was rooting for TX. I thought the 5 sec call was cot correct. terrible loss for TX as they had fought back from a big deficit.

Scott Smetana 9 years, 3 months ago

From the time he was handed to the ball until his timeout signal, it was exactly 4.4 seconds. He clearly called timeout after the ref signaled 4 seconds with his dramatic arm counts. There is absolutely no doubt it was a bad call.

Annette Lee 9 years, 3 months ago

wow TX got the shaft! The 4 sec rule was removed 10 yrs ago. So the ref in the heat of the moment ruled with the old rule and lied to cover up. The old rule said you could not call time after 4 sec.

true_patriot 9 years, 3 months ago

Exactly, MontereyJay. Sad to see such a hard-fought game tainted by crappy officiating. Wasn't this same trio of officials associated with another game full of bad calls just recently?

Spencer Goff 9 years, 3 months ago

I think UT bitching about referee mishaps is among the greatest things ever possible. I cannot get over the irony.

I am currently unable to stop laughing.

Seriously, if that crew is that terrible why are they getting assigned to work NCAA tournament games?

And even more seriously.... I cannot stop laughing.

Scott Smetana 9 years, 3 months ago

Texas has class. They are obviously a big part of out new league. KSU the same. It sucks they lost. What a horrible way to end the season....

From the time he was handed to the ball until his timeout signal, it was exactly 4.4 seconds. He clearly called timeout after the ref signaled 4 seconds with his dramatic arm counts. There is absolutely no doubt it was a bad call. It happens.

Here's a bit more why it happened.... Arizona's coach Miller was in that refs face for an entire timeout a few minutes earlier about another play. That ref had 'make-up call' in the back of his mind. Therefore, I think it helps to have the coach (Self) get into the refs heads for just this reason.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 3 months ago

I agree Texas got shafted BUT why didn't they have one player at least at mid-court so the ball could have been lobbed deep? I'm sure HCBS would have been ready for that if necessary.

okiedave 9 years, 3 months ago

I attented the game and it was my impression that Texas had the better team and players. However, Texas did not lose it at the end. Texas lost it during the first 38 minutes of play. Texas trailed for all practical purposes the entire game and tried to play catch up. Texas simply could not put it together enough to move out front. Kansas and Okla. State learned in the Big 12 tournament game that you simply cannot afford to play basket for basket and wait to see which team has the chance to win with the last shot. 50% of the time your team is going to lose.

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