Did a Call Change the Course of Alabama Basketball’s NCAA Victory? Maryland coach believes him
BIRMINGHAM — After falling 73-51 to Alabama basketball in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday at Legacy Arena, Maryland coach Kevin Willard addressed refereeing, including the second foul call on the star Julian Reese.
Reese earned his second foul with 17:03 to go in the first half with the Terrapins leading 9-4. Reese substituted and returned a few minutes later to commit his third foul before halftime.
“The second faulty call was mysterious and so was the third,” Willard said. “I’ve played it with two fouls all year. You know, you can’t call that second foul. Not in an NCAA tournament game. That’s just my feeling about it. I thought it was a horrible call, and it changed the outcome of the game.
“I can develop a lot of things, but I’ll probably have a lot of problems. … The second call was a terrible rude call. You can’t take our best player out of the game when the game was as physical as it could be. it was It was a horrible call. It changed our whole game plan.”
Willard said Maryland’s game plan involved running the ball through Reese to the high and low post, a strategy the Terrapins implemented in the second half of the season. Reese finished with 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting with two rebounds and a block before committing a foul with 2:24 left. He played 21 minutes and finished with a plus-minus of minus-4.
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This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Maryland coach Kevin Willard says foul call changed game against Alabama