March 18, 2016
Unfortunately for local hoopheads, there will be no Big 5 second-round NCAA Tournament matchup in Brooklyn on Sunday.
No. 10 Temple pulled off a miracle comeback just to send Friday’s first-round game with No. 7 Iowa into overtime. Later, with 22 seconds left in OT and the score tied at 72, Temple had a tough break: The Owls got a stop, and Iowa star Jared Uthoff made an extremely dumb foul while aggressively trying to grab the offensive rebound.
The problem for Temple is that Iowa couldn’t have fouled a worse player in that spot. Daniel Dingle is a 55 percent shooter that had to shoot with his off hand because of an injury. Dingle missed the front-end of the 1-and-1, and Iowa held for the last shot.
Then, this happened:
Did Adam Woodbury, who collected four offensive rebounds in the game, push off Temple’s Obi Enechionyia? Absolutely. He didn’t do a particularly good job of hiding it, either:
Removing any local bias, should it have been a called, though? I know everyone on North Broad Street believes so, but remember that a call there basically ends Iowa’s season, too:
Are they going to call that push off? No, they're not going to send Temple to other end and take game-winning free throws. But it happened.— Mike Jensen (@jensenoffcampus) March 18, 2016
That is a very difficult decision for a ref to make in real time. I don’t think it helps Temple’s case that Enechionyia is standing directly under the basket when the ball goes up, which is bad rebounding position. Of course, he also had no idea the initial shot would be so far off. Iowa had experienced success on the offensive glass for much of second half.
Basically, I’m not sure there is a right answer. I feel for Fran Dunphy’s team and the Temple fans. On a day that the Owls battled through some adversity, they were on the wrong end of a judgment call that sealed their fate. Sports can be cruel.
P.S. Long live Dunph:
Fran Dunphy just lost a heartbreaking game on a OT buzzer-beater but graciously thanked a 8 y/o SI Kids reporter for a thoughtful question— Rodger Sherman (@rodger_sherman) March 18, 2016
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann