Saturday, April 5, 2008

Screwjob Revisited

No, not that screwjob. Since it's semi-final day, and it's showing on the (self-annointed) worldwide leader, I submit the 1991 NCAA National Semi-final, played on 3/30/91, between Duke and and the erstwhile undefeated UNLV Runnin' Rebels.

With the NCAA and officials firmly lodged up Duke's ass, Duke managed to derail the Rebels' undefeated season and avenge the previous year's prison raping, defeating UNLV 79-77 in what went down as one of the most significant upsets in Final Four history.

Having watched that game live, I observed the three cheap/phantom fouls called on Greg Anthony- I know it's hard for anyone who watched him in the NBA to believe, but Greg Anthony was the MAN in college- and watched Stacy Augmon play the game with his hands doused in motor oil.

Augmon played so inexplicably badly, repeatedly blowing the simplest of plays, that I had to think that he was bought and was shaving (the spread was UNLV by 9).

The NCAA establishment hated UNLV so much (granted, UNLV was more blatant about its cheating than Bill Clinton) that, for years, they did everything they could to bury UNLV. This took the form of fouling out Anthony.

In the previous year's final, UNLV destroyed a petrified Duke squad. Duke was intimidated by the entire UNLV squad, but it was most noticeable when Moses Scurry was on the floor. Surely, a couple of them shit themselves when Scurry would scowl at them. It was not without reason, as, while Scurry was a marginal player, he gave the impression that, if he hadn't left his gun in the locker room, he would have stuck up the front row. He seemed fit to do it anyway, but relented only out of favor to Coach Tark.

Scurry wasn't around in 1991, Duke had a year to build up its courage and had freshman Grant Hill. There fear was gone and Duke played well, which made for an excellent game.

All that said, the Rebels should have won this game by double digits. Anderson Hunt and Anthony had good games, but Augmon was in somebody's pocket, UNLV didn't get the ball to Larry Johnson nearly enough and Duke-friendly officiating kept Anthony in foul trouble and the game tight.

You wouldn't have known it was a tight game from the atmosphere. Watching it again, I had forgotten how dead the place (the dome in Indianapolis) was. Granted, it was the early game, but, as hated as UNLV was, you'd think that everybody in there (KU, UNC fans) would have ganged up against them. I also forgot about that fucked-up high-top fade hair style black dudes used to wear.

Anyway, once Anthony fouled out (about the 4-minute mark), I knew right then that UNLV was done. Having already seen the officials call two bullshit fouls on Anthony (one ticky-tack and one phantom), I knew they had a hard-on to foul him out. The fifth foul was one of those bullshit college charging calls. It wasn't charging, even for college, but Anthony was never going to get that call. Of course, the rebroadcast didn't show the replay; good job there, worldwide leader.

Duke eventually tied the game and had possession with ~40 seconds. They missed the shot and, in the scramble for the rebound, the officials found a foul to call on UNLV. In the strictest sense, it was a marginal foul, as, in going for the ball, the UNLV player bumped into Laettner- part of the long line of Duke's punk-ass white boy big men- who had position, but that is not a call you make, especially on a loose ball in a tie game with under 15 seconds to go, unless you're looking to call something.

I'm almost positive it was the same jagoff that called Anthony's fourth, when Anthony touched the right elbow of Thomas Hill, who was stuck in the air with out a plan, looking to pass off with the shot clock running down. They weren't calling this shit on Duke.

Laettner hits both free throws and UNLV, unable to run a set without Anthony, come down and choke the game away. Ball game over; perfect season over; Dukies win; theeeeeeee Dukies win.

And that was that.

3 comments:

NFL Adam said...

A couple of things here, if UNLV plays Duke on Monday, this is another no-contest. Really. The Rebels would kill them. But Tarkanian was clearly out-coached here. The Devils would double Johnson in the paint who kept forcing shots. One simple timeout and an adjustment would have given UNLV a huge advantage. But it never came. Tark never did a thing.

That was the beauty of Greg Anthony. He would always bail the team out when Tark was lounging on the sidelines.

Do you remember the Ball State game?

But I do agree that the refs were looking hard at Anthony, knowing that if they got him out of the game, the Rebels would be toast. And they did, so credit should go to them for targeting the right guy.

BTW, it was an absolute crime that Anthony was not in the Top 25 college players of all-time list. A freaking crime. That UNLV was the best of all-time, no doubt.

Totally agree, too, on Moses Scurry. He was the Michael Graham of those RR teams.

Anonymous said...

The UNLV-Duke game was the 2nd FF game. And both the Kansas and UNC fans were rooting for Duke.

Unfortunately for UNLV, Stacey Augmon played with a severe migraine and he played his worst game as a Rebel. Augmon had the best hands in college basketball that year, but that night his offensive game was non-existant.

And the 2nd half of the UNLV-Duke game was the most one-sided officiated game in Final Four history. A few of the examples of the biased officating:

Approx. 17:45 left in the 2nd half, Hurly converted a fast break layup and got a free throw on a foul on Anthony where it clear as day Anthony did not touch Hurly.

Approx. 17:15 left in the 2nd half, an out-of-bounds call occurred that the refs said it went off LJ but it clearly went off on Laetner.

Approx. 17:10 left in the 2nd half, there was a b.s. goaltending call on Gray that even Packer said was a poor call.

Approx. 16:06 left in the 2nd half, an out-of-bounds call gave the ball to Duke altough the ball went off Duke's Palmer.

Approx. 15:36 left in the 2nd half, an out-pass to Laetner was overthrown. Anthony jumped up straight up to grab the ball, Laettner ran into him, and the officials called a foul on Anthony.

Approx. 15:36 left in the 2nd half, Anderson Hunt is about to dunk on a fast-break, and Duke's McCaffrey undercuts him. Hunt crashes down hurting his shoulder. Officials refuse to call an intentional foul.

Approx. 15:05 left in the 2nd half, the officials call on intentional foul on Augmon for bumping into to McCaffrey (yet no intentional call on Hunt a few seconds earlier)

Approx. 11:05 left in the 2nd half, Anderson Hunt is about to dunk on a fast-break, and Hurley grabs him. Clear as day intentional foul, the refs refuse to call it even though Hurley grabbed him with both arms. LJ complains to the refs and the officials give a technical on Johnson - giving Duke an extra point.

Approx. 8:35 left in the 2nd half, Thomas Hill literally dribbled the ball out-of-bounds without an UNLV player near him.

Approx. 8:25 left in the 2nd half, Thomas Hill went up for a three point shot, came down on the ball in a clear travel, and the officals inexplicately called the foul on Anthony for his fourth foul.

Approx. 3:50 left in the 2nd half, Anthony hits a running jumper, but the officals waive it off the basket and call Greg with his 5th foul on a charge on Brian Davis. An absolutely horrific call.

Approx. 3:40 left in the 2nd half, Brian Davis double-dribbles in the paint, but no call.

Approx. 1:30 left in the 2nd half, Laetner blantantly fouls LJ on the Rebels 2nd to last possession.

Approx. 1:15 left in the 2nd half, the officals call a terrible foul on LJ on Brian Davis.

Approx. :13 left in the 2nd half, although Gray has inside position, the officals call a loose ball foul on Gray which gave Laettner the two free throws that provided the difference in the game.

Bokolis said...

Your venom is best directed at Ted Valentine, who made the lion's share- and the most scandalous- of calls. I'm going to speculate that it wasn't the first or last time he'd fucked over somebody.