If you ask social media, it appears there were three opponents in Monday’s NCAA championship game: Gonzaga, UNC and the referees.
The game wasn’t the cleanest, as several sports pundits noted. But it was the officiating in particular that had viewers fuming. There were 38 fouls called, 27 in the second half alone. By mid second-half, multiple players on both teams were in foul trouble, and Gonzaga center Zach Collins ultimately fouled out of the game.
The foul fest led to quite a reaction.
Chris Chase of Fox Sports:
“The three guys in black-and-white stripes did more to affect the outcome of the game than any player on the floor. They were merely bad in the first half but after some halftime adjustments came out primed to take control of the game.”
Alec Brzezinski of Sporting News:
“College basketball is headed down a dangerous path with a number of ‘points of emphasis’ being placed on officials every year. It is starting to ruin the end product.”
The refs couldn’t even catch a break from the fans when the game was over.
Even LeBron James weighed in, saying the game was becoming unwatchable.
But hey, it wasn’t all bad. History will ultimately focus on Monday’s championship game as the Tar Heel’s redemption for their loss in the 2016 championship.
LaVendrick Smith; @LaVendrickS