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We almost saw the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 team in history when UNC Asheville scared Syracuse.
The Orange were trailing in the game until 9:46 left in the second half, and even after that the game was very close, rarely becoming a two-possession game.
The officiating in that game was...interesting. There was certainly controversy because of it, and while two of the three big calls were actually correct, one was blatantly wrong.
The correct calls were a lane violation on UNC Asheville when shooting a free throw, with the refs saying that the guard on the outside of the three-point line left early, and a shot clock violation on a play where the UNC Asheville player was clearly fouled.
The first of these two calls was correct, but it was so unheard of that most people were wondering why it was called during such an intense moment in the game. The second was not definitely correct, but it was also not definitely wrong. The player was getting a shot off while being fouled, but the foul extended the time he had the ball. The refs ruled a shot clock violation on a play that could have been three points for UNC Asheville if the free throw was made.
The blown call came when UNC Asheville was trying to force a turnover. Down just a few points with very little time remaining, it looked like they got lucky. Syracuse inbounded the ball and it went off of a player as it sailed out of bounds, but a foul was called on UNC Asheville on a player who hit the Syracuse player who lost the ball well after the play, which was blatantly wrong.
The refs might have saved Syracuse in this game, and we won't be forgetting that.