If you're a Washington State Cougars fan, the above video was probably the cause of your upset stomach, light nausea and crushing headache yesterday. Oh, that was from New Year's Eve? Right. Anyway, it sucked. There's one thing though – the refs made the correct call here.
The good folks over at CougCenter were obviously incensed about the technical foul and have a wonderfully argued, and very convincing breakdown of the call, the aftermath and the anger. It centers very specifically on the letter of the rule the refs say the Cougs violated, and if the refs interpreted the spirit of said rule correctly. That might not be the best description, just go read the post, it's very good.
But, for all the specificity of their argument, all you need to look at to determine right or wrong in this situation is the broader picture: A WSU player ran out on to the court – a long way out – while there was still time on the clock. That's a technical foul without fail, especially at the end of the game. I'd also take issue with this:
And there's the rub for me: Every rule should be carried out with this point of reference. Did the exuberant actions of an 18-year-old on the side of a team that had just made what it thought was the game-winning play at the end of overtime really constitute such an egregious act of unsportsmanlike conduct so as to warrant an indisputable administration of a technical foul with 0.3 of a second left and one team leading by two points?
That's exactly it though. Sports is exciting, especially college basketball and that exuberant 18-year-old needs to be able to control his emotions under pressure – and his coaching staff needs to be way more prepared to grab his ass before he does something stupid. That's part of college sports is building the maturity to now do stupid stuff – or limit it at least.
The call sucked. Any time a foul dramatically affects the outcome of the game it sucks. But, in this case, it was the right call.