This was one of those games where, as a fan, you had no idea how Purdue was going to score another basket. Terone Johnson was generally effective on drives in the paint, but Xavier pretty much packed the inside and dared the Boilermakers to shoot. Purdue went 0 for 17 from beyond the arc and DJ Byrd finished an abysmal 0 for 9.
|DJ might need to watch this movie for inspiration|
At first glance, 15 for 23 doesn't sound awful from the free throw line considering it's right around our season average. However, at the 4:45 mark, Purdue missed 3 free throws in a row over a span of a minute and a half, which pretty much cost them the game. Sure, they started the stretch with a 4 point deficit and ended it still down 4, but the first two missed free throws were actually front ends of 1-and-1's. That's effectively FIVE missed free throws in a row. Make four of five and the game is tied with 3 minutes to go. Make 60% and you're only down one. Sure enough, Semaj Christon came down and hit a huge 3-pointer to nearly bury Purdue.
Yet somehow, the Boilers still fought back and down 4 with 20 seconds left, Ronnie Johnson grabbed a missed Jacob Lawson free throw and put it in. A whistle blew and at first it appeared that Johnson was going to receive an and-one, giving Purdue a chance at a 6-point play to miraculously cut the deficit to one (Lawson was at the line due to rebounding another missed free throw). Further replays showed DJ Byrd getting dragged to the ground, however, so the basket wasn't going to count. Still, Byrd had a chance to cut the lead to 2 and actually get a shot of his to drop (anyone who's played basketball knows how important it is to make a free throw when you're in a slump)! Instead, it appears that Bo Boroski - THE SAME OFFICIAL THAT BLEW THE VILLANOVA GAME - chose to ignore the Byrd mauling and instead called the slightest push on Ronnie Johnson. (Editor's Note: Kirk has set me straight...I was mistaken - the white-haired dude in the Villanova game was actually Brian O'Connell. Perhaps I should have actually read my own post instead of just blindly linking it! Regardless, Boroski was present for both games and surely could have made or overturned either call.) After viewing the play from multiple angles, I finally saw the very small nudge, but how Byrd gets taken down to the ground without it being called is beyond me.
|Bo Borowski |
Well, betting against Kirk is no longer a gimme win as Kirk has correctly picked two games in a row to move to 2-7 against the spread on the season. Meanwhile, betting enthusiasts around the world have started to contact me as I am now 8-1 on the season against the spread (the only game I missed was the Villanova game - and I had it if it weren't for Mr. Boroski...pictured above). Current standings are: