Bad news after the good news for UCLA yesterday. The Bruins rallied to beat Arizona in a game the Wildcats had control of for most of the night, but freshman Jordan Adams — to me, he’s probably UCLA’s best all-around player — broke his foot on the final play and is done for the year.
Solomon Hill pump-faked Adams on the final possession and he landed normally on the floor. But, X-rays showed a break afterward and he won’t be participating in the NCAA Tournament.
Adams scored 18 second-half points to help the Bruins knock off Arizona 66-64.
Afterward, there was a lot of discussion about a technical foul Arizona head coach Sean Miller received with 4:37 to go and Arizona up two.
Most tried to blame the loss on what was a questionable technical. This is ridiculous.
For starters, Miller was berating and glaring at the officials most of the game. He said after the game he didn’t get an explanation for the technical, which the referees are not obligated to give him, when he said, “They don’t talk to me.” This is false.
Referee Michael Reed had an extended discussion with Miller in a timeout at one point yesterday, among many other talks. Miller had been staring and screaming at him about a non-call and Reed went over to him and talked about it heading into a timeout. Prior, Reed was warning Miller to calm down and appeared on the verge of giving him a technical.
A few plays later, a foul was called on UCLA. This time, Miller began yelling at Michael Irving, the ref who T’d him up later in the game, because Irving didn’t make the call. So, you have Miller already receiving a warning and now yelling at a referee even though he got the call from another.
Many coaches do this, then, like Miller did, complain afterward.
As for the two technical free throws (UCLA didn’t score on its ensuing possession) being the prime reasons Arizona lost, that’s nonsense.
Hill dunked on the next play to give Arizona the lead back. The technical came with 4:37 left in the game. The Wildcats were up 11 points with 9:57 to go. They blew their lead well prior to the technical.
In addition, Arizona committed a turnover with 1:19 to go and repeatedly fouled down the stretch before Hill had a clean look on the final possession. He missed. Arizona missed 31 shots in the game. It had eight more turnovers than UCLA. Yet, a technical that was likely earned over the course of the game, receives much of the blame.
The main reason for that? Is because Miller blamed the loss on the technical.
“I told our team after the game that’s all completely on me,” Miller said. “If you’re the coach of a team and you get a technical in this type of situation under 4 minutes, that’s unacceptable. And he made both free throws, hence the difference in the game.
“The reason I got a technical foul is because I said, he touched the ball. He touched the ball. Like in other words, Mark Lyons dribbled and by the way when you show the replay here on ESPN in a few seconds, he touched the ball. He touched the ball. He touched the ball. He touched the ball. That’s a hard one now when you work August, September, October, November, December, January, February, and here we are.
“My man over here (Hill), he’s never coming back here again. His coach gets a technical foul. Didn’t cuss. Didn’t challenge him. By the way, it’s my first technical foul of the year. That’s what this is about.”
Then, he finished with this:
“And by the way, full credit given to UCLA. They did a great job.”
Do referees make mistakes? Of course. Do they influence the game? Yes. But, they were not the mitigating factor in a game Arizona blew plenty on its own.
At least it gave us an entertaining press conference:
On the other side of things, Oregon stomped Utah 64-45 to advance to the final to face Adams-less UCLA.