Controversy on Last Second Shot in Arizona-Colorado Game?


The Arizona Wildcats escaped their worst half of basketball this season on a denied last-second shot in regulation to move into extra time versus Colorado where they went on to win 92-83.

In the waning seconds of the fourth quarter, guard Sabatino Chen glanced at the shot clock which read 1.5 seconds and rose to shoot from the three-point arc. The ball flung in the air, banked off the backboard and rimmed in. The Buffalo sidelines came leaping off the bench to celebrate the 83-80 victory over the No. 3 Wildcats in a thrilling buzzer beater.

Unfortunately, their celebration was all for not as the referees took to the review booth and overturned the shot that would have given the visiting Buffalos a dramatic upset for the ages.

The controversial call had its fair share of backlash, which included Colorado head coach Tad Boyle.

“Get rid of instant replay. In basketball, football, human error is part of our game. If human error is part of the game, let the officials call the game. Players, coaches and officials will make mistakes. It’s part of the game. WE spend all this money on replays and we still can’t get it right. Get rid of it.”

He may have a case. On the overhead replay in the stadium, the crowd got a glimpse of Chen releasing the ball with .1 seconds remaining on the clock.

Unfortunate as it was for Colorado, the game continued in overtime where Arizona redeemed its ugly shooting night to top Colorado and keep their perfect season intact (13-0).

Though, the game shows much more about the Wildcats’ strengths than their weaknesses. The ability to overcome such a miserable shooting night (25.9 percent from the field; season-low 27 first-half points) is a telling tale of how much grit this team really possesses.

In games against Florida and San Diego State this season, Arizona once again overcame late second half deficits, punched it into overdrive and defeated their foes. Senior point guard Mark Lyons is a big reason they’ve faired well in the final minutes of the game. In fact, he netted eight points in the waning minutes of the Florida game to fend off their cross-country rivals.

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