Quite possibly the greatest Iowa State basketball team in school history played in what many call a pseudo-national championship game. It was 2000, #2 seeded Iowa State versus #1 seed Michigan State, with the winner playing for a final four bid, and as it turned out an easy ride to the championship.
You all remember it well – Iowa State held a late lead, only to lose it in the waning moments. Michigan State ran away, and then our main man Larry Eustachy ran onto the floor, got ejected, and Iowa State’s dreams were swept away like a fart in the wind.
What most fans remember from this game was when a mind-blowing turn of events that changed the momentum immensely.
Fast forward to 1:07:10...
Up by 6 with less than 5 minutes to go, and a shot to go ahead by 7 at the line, Paul Shirley (yes the writer Paul Shirley, you youngins) fell on the floor for a lane violation.
As if he hadn’t had enough bad luck – this happened.
Fast forward to 1:09:35 in the same video
I’ve never seen this before, but there was a difference of opinion with the officials (surprise surprise), and neither ref had the balls to make the call. So what do the zebras do? They fold and call it a double foul wiping out a potential three-point play for Shirley AND fouling him out of the game
I don’t know about you – but you HAVE to allow the offensive player his spot on the floor.
A Chicago Tribune article the next day by the one and only Skip Bayless said it best, with the following:
“The biggest whistle should be blown on refs Curtis Shaw, Frank Basone and Lonnie Dixon for doing everything in their considerable power to ruin what might have been the national championship game. The kids on the court didn’t choke in the stifling tension. The adults did.”
And for the first time in my life, I agree with ya Skip.