For the second time in the tournament thus far, a controversial lane violation may be the deciding factor in a Round of 64 thriller.
With two No. 15 seeds coming up big and knocking off No. 2 seeds, it looked like the luck of the Irish was going to linger into the night on the eve of St. Patrick's Day. Unfortunately, the magic ran out, and the Fighting Irish had their tournament lives cut short by a ticky-tack call in a 67-63 loss to Xavier.
This was the wrong call. Even upon watching it again, it's hard to see where a lane violation occurred. It's one thing to be nitpicky. It's another thing entirely to make a questionable call like this one and seal the fate of the game.
The heinous string of questionable calls that occurred in the UNC-Asheville game played a huge role in Syracuse's win, which sparked backlash and harsh criticism of the officials involved.
That didn't deter these refs from making a call that could potentially be unpopular amongst a passionate fanbase like Notre Dame's.
In a perfect world, a team wouldn't see their tournament hopes squashed at the hands of a lane violation. Unfortunately, the Irish are sent packing in a game that ends with one fanbase up in arms.
With the upsets that have occurred in the tournament thus far, this has been a remarkable start to March Madness. Unfortunately, it's one that has already been riddled with questionable calls and controversy that will leave everyone wondering "what if."