Brad Underwood rips umpires for bad call in Illinois loss


Illinois coach Brad Underwood fumed about what he considered a game-changing technical foul during his team’s loss at the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.

Illinois freshman RJ Melendez was given a technical foul for hanging on to the rim too long after a dunk with just under nine minutes left in Sunday’s game against Houston . The call was immediately widely criticized, as it seemed clear that Melendez’s momentum was the main reason he hung on for as long as he did.

After the game, Underwood said officials admitted the call was a mistake, but weren’t appeased. Underwood even questioned if the call was “personal” and blamed him for killing his team’s momentum.

“You make a play and then you have this call?” Underwood said, via 247Sports’ Sam Marsdale. “(Referee) told me in the moment he should never have called him, but in the moment he called him. So maybe it’s personal? I don’t know. Come on , and to kill the moose like that? Horrible.”

Melendez’s dunk cut Houston’s lead to 46-42, but the Cougars made the ensuing free throw and closed the game on a 22-11 run after the call. Underwood isn’t necessarily wrong to claim the call had a significant impact on the momentum of the game.

In light of the seriousness of the call, it’s kind of a surprise that Underwood managed not to react like that in the heat of the moment.




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