College Basketball: Blown Calls Teach Rutgers Players Hard Lesson

Al Dannity | Updated Oct 04, 2017

Life isn’t always fair and Rutgers Basketball team found that out the hard way on Wednesday. Al Dannity says the actions taken by their coach in the aftermath can teach those players and College Basketball bettors plenty.

Tough break for Scarlet Knights St. John’s made hard work of their last couple of regular season games but few College Basketball betting fans expected Rutgers to put up much of a fight against the Johnnies on Wednesday. Little did we know that the Scarlet Knights would be within 2 points of the Red Storm with just 5 seconds on the clock. What happened next will live on in infamy.


Rutgers fell victim to not one but two blown calls. First there was the blatant travelling by St. John’s Justin Brownlee and then Brownlee stepped out of bounds with 1.7 seconds left on the clock. Had the officials caught either offense then Rutgers would have got one more possession in a favorable position to shoot. They didn’t and the Scarlet Knights’ season ended.

Rice shows class Normally I hate it when coaches blame the officials for costing their teams games but even I wouldn’t have blamed Rutgers’ coach Mike Rice if he slammed them yesterday. While he was infuriated courtside, Rice showed tremendous composure and dignity when addressing the media. “It’s got to be a mistake. I watched it on YouTube. I’ve had them all throughout the year, impeccable reputation, it’s unfortunate, my heart — believe me, there is going to be blood coming through my tongue right now but it’s what it is, we’re going to control how we respond,” Rice told reporters. Amidst the fire and fury of columnists and even the head of NCAA officiating, here was one of those with the most reason to be bitter showing forgiveness.

Lesson for all of us Rice’s lesson to his players is one that all bettors could learn from. You can’t control everything that happens to you but other opportunities will emerge. A blown call can bounce either way and over time these things tend to balance out. Once the Scarlet Knights get back in training you know Rice will be out to motivate his players. He will tell them it’s not about the 1.7 seconds they can’t get back but what they do over 40 full minutes that will define every game going forward. If the officials had made the right call and Rutgers’ missed then we wouldn’t be talking about them today. Now Rice can turn them into the plucky underdog looking to make the Big Dance next year. That’s a goal worth aspiring to.