GAME - Louisville @ Kentucky; Saturday, Jan. 2
LINE - Kentucky - 7
RESULT - Kentucky covers, winning 71-62
ITGOTT had advance notice of Tony Greene's schedule, and was able to plan to watch this in-state rivalry game on CBS. With Verne Lundquist and Clark Kellogg working for The Eye, and with Kentucky's John Calipari and Louisville's adulterer Rick Pitino facing one another, much was on the line at Rupp Arena in Lexington. Kentucky was a 7 point favorite.
Surely Tony Greene would let a game of this importance unfold organically and without his interference, wouldn't he? Working with Doug Shows and John Cahill, ITGOTT was ready to watch and review the performance.
This game was SO heated, that the officials just had to take control of the game, or it could have quickly gotten out of hand. 6 fouls in the first 45 seconds, including some assessed after a review of a loose ball scrum, before a point was scored.
Make The Big Judgment Call In Favor Of The Team You Are Helping
During the aforementioned loose ball scrum, Kentucky star DeMarcus Cousins was seen elbowing a defenseless Louisville player in the head. While this call wasn't called on the floor, the retaliation by the Louisville player was. However, the officials - led by Tony Greene - went to the replay to determine if a combative act took place. Although it CLEARLY did and Cousins should have been ejected, he was instead assessed a technical foul. Cousins went on to score the first 6 points of the game.
Then the teams, and the officials, settled in and played/called a clean game. Although neither team exploded out of the gates, Kentucky worked its way to an early 9-1 lead, and the 7 point spread was covered 5 1/2 minutes into the game.
Keep 'Em Guessing - Make Calls That Confuse Everybody
Then Tony Greene called a bizarre call on Kentucky's Daniel Orton (his second foul) on what appeared to be a clean rebound. Additionally, this foul put Louisville in the bonus. Then, IMMEDIATELY (as in on the ensuing inbounds) gave the ball back to Kentucky with another seemingly bizarre call on Louisville. No clue whether Tony Greene is on the take here, but he certainly was making some bizarre calls.
Meanwhile, Kentucky quietly extended its lead to a dozen 8 1/2 minutes into the game. Louisville, at one point, had made 10 turnovers and only one field goal, yet Kentucky hadn't been able to pull away. A couple of missed shots by the Cats here, a couple of non-calls by the officials, there, and a team that should be ahead by 25 was only ahead by 12. An up-and-down remainder of the first half resulted in an 8-point Kentucky halftime lead.
A Louisville run to open the second half cut the UK lead to 4, and the spread (and game) were definitely in question.
Use Calls (And Non-Calls) To Stop Momentum Of The Team You Are Not Helping
Then, with Kentucky clinging to a 4-point lead with about 15 minutes to play in the game, Kentucky throws an errant pass that Louisville picks off. But Doug Shows steps in with a questionable call on a Louisville player, and Kentucky seizes back the momentum and extends its lead to 8.
Keep 'Em Guessing - Make Calls That Confuse Everybody
Then on the ensuing possession, Doug Shows makes a terrible "and one" foul call on Kentucky. ITGOTT believes that Doug Shows is just winging it today, making make-up call after make-up call, none of which get control of the game, none of which help a specific team, and none of which demonstrate even a modicum of officiating intelligence.
The Charge/Block Call - It Can Always Go Either Way, So Make Sure It Goes Your Way
With 12:17, Louisville had cut the Kentucky lead to just 4, and clearly had the momentum. In steps Doug Shows, to make the charge call on a Louisville possession. At this point, ITGOTT has no idea whether Doug Shows is "on the take" or just an incompetent official, but his officiating in this game is more attention-grabbing that Tony Greene's last season. And it was because of Tony Greene's officiating last season that this blog was born.
Nonetheless, Louisville kept the momentum, and despite various fouls sending various Kentucky players to the free throw line, the Cats couldn't seem to buy a free throw and a 9-0 Louisville run gave them a 1 point lead with just under 10 minutes to play. To cover the spread today, as it appeared these officials wanted to happen, Kentucky was going to have to play a strong final 10 minutes.
Doug Shows baffles again with a double technical with about 9 minutes to play. No free throws are shot, so the score didn't directly change, but even Verne Lundquist and Clark Kellogg were baffled on this one. Even Tony Greene and John Cahill seemed to be apologizing to Rick Pitino and John Calipari, respectively, in CBS's video. Seriously, Doug Shows may be the worst official in college basketball.
In the midst of all this Doug Shows strangeness, Kentucky went on a run of its own - well actually John Wall with a 6 point run of his own- re-taking the lead and extending it to 7 with 7 minutes to play. The spread was again covered, and even though Louisville made a quick run, Doug Shows stepped up again with an "and one" for Kentucky with 5:35 to go (a good call, it looked like) and Kentucky extended its lead to 10.
Swallow Your Whistle When Things Are Going Your Way
With about 5 minutes to go, with Kentucky clearly having the momentum, the officials, who had been so visible today, disappeared. When Patrick Patterson of Kentucky had a one-on-none breakaway with a 12-point UK lead with about 3 minutes to go, it looked like the spread was in hand. But Patrick Patterson missed the dunk on the front of the rim (a hugely embarrassing event for a guy 6'9") and the momentum switched to Louisville in a hurry. A three and a 2 and the lead was down to 7, exactly the spread, until Kentucky free throws with 1:14 to go pushed their lead to 9. A Louisville bucket cut it to 7, exactly the spread, with 1 minute to go.
Make The Big Call (Oe Non-Call) At The End
So if these officials are on the take, Tony Greene included, a call at the end would make the difference. In this case, they didn't need to. Louisville was forced to foul, Kentucky hit free throws. Louisville missed shots, and three meaningless fouls on Kentucky (ALL THREE made by John Cahill, by the way) with 30 seconds or less to go were rendered irrelevant. Kentucky won by 9, covering (albeit barely) the 7 point spread.