You're often told it's a loser's lament to point to the officials as a primary factor in a team losing a game.
This is, to put it mildly, complete and total nonsense.
YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles were the unfortunate victims of a particularly brutal crew tonight, dropping a tough 67-59 decision to San Diego State and three of their closest friends in the finals of the Wooden Legacy tournament -- and if we learned anything tonight, I think we can safely assume, based on Coach Buzz calling a timeout with 3.2 seconds left and his team down 8 just to stare down the officials, that Marquette won't be returning to this circus in California anytime soon.
The warning signs that the game was afflicted with a Stage 4 case of #REFSHOW came early. In the first half, the goofs in stripes put both teams in the bonus halfway through the period, then swallowed the whistles for a few minutes, all the while changing their minds on what constituted a moving screen or a charge or, heck, even a jump ball -- and that one was particularly a hoot, as Deonte Burton stripped a San Diego State player clean as he jumped to shoot, no one was touching the ball, and the official still decided to call a held ball.
Anyway, with Jamil Wilson, Chris Otule, and Juan Anderson each saddled with two cheap fouls, MU was lucky not to get run out of the gym, especially with SDSU attacking the offensive boards with reckless abandon and an overmatched Steve Taylor and a clearly-ill Davante Gardner -- and we mean "clearly-ill" in the "having to duck to the sidelines to yarf into a trash can" sense -- helpless to stop them.
Unfortunately, the second half proved to be an even bigger travesty than the first. With Marquette doing whatever it could to claw back into the game after San Diego State jumped out to a 9-point advantage, the officials managed to out-yack the guy who was battling the stomach flu with three game-changing calls, first calling a preposterous travel on Jamil Wilson when he harmlessly shuffled his feet after catching an inbounds pass, then calling an absurd three-shot foul on Jake Thomas when the shot clock was expiring and Thomas was being accosted by an Aztec attempting to set a screen, and then totally whiffing by giving the ball to the Aztecs after Deonte Burton clearly dribbled the ball off his defender's foot.
For good measure, after San Diego State's Skylar Spencer fouled out of the game with seconds to go, this merry band of dipshits allowed Spencer to stay on the floor while Burton shot his throws, which would be insane and likely grounds for suspension for any other crew, but was business as usual for these zebras on this night.
Jae Crowder Player of the Year of the Game: With the Ox crippled by the flu and Jamil Wilson struggling in the second half, Deonte Burton stepped into the fray with a magnificent 15-point, 2-steal, 2-block performance. SDSU had no answer for Burton's bullrushes to the basket, and the kid's 15-foot jumper is an weapon that most players don't develop until their third or fourth year. Now if only we could improve his knowledge of physics so he could negotiate with dimwit officials.
You cannot dribble it off your own foot and have the ball go 180 degrees behind you.— Ken Pomeroy (@kenpomeroy) December 2, 2013
Joe Fulce Undersung Eagle of the Game: Chris Otule was pressed into heavy duty and responded with 6 points and 9 rebounds, including five on the offensive end. Also, for the first time in like two years, no one mentioned his fake eye, so that's a win, too.
Davante "Big Smoove" Gardner Smoove Play of the Game: Todd Mayo only managed five points on the evening, but his first two were a thing of beauty, as he took a pass on the break and glided up and under the basket for a pretty reverse lay-in that gave Marquette a 10-9 advantage.
Up Next: It's the moooooost wonderful tiiiiiiiiime of the year -- coming up on Saturday is a trip to the Kohl Hole, which means that BADGER HATE WEEK is truly a week-long extravaganza this year. No mid-week game against a bumbling SWAC team this season, kids: it's all HATE all the time, starting next morning and stampeding uninterrupted until the weekend.
Which means we should probably figure out what we're doing for BADGER HATE WEEK this year.