There was controversy late in the game when the officiating crew went to the monitor and overturned a blocking foul on Utah’s Riley Battin, assigning the foul to Tyrese Maxey on the drive instead. Maxey was attacking to potentially tie the ball game in the final minute when Battin backpedaled his way to the ground after contact. The collision in the lane was originally called a block; a judgment call that cannot be reviewed, according to the rulebook. But apparently the Wednesday night crew had a different interpretation of the rules because they stopped play, went to the tiny TV and awarded the two free throws over to Utah rather than Kentucky.
The refs say the review was to see if Battin was inside the arc, but that’s a poor excuse and an impossible one to believe. Battin was three or four feet outside the circle, which was clear as day in real time, and the official didn’t give the international hand signal for reviewing position near the circle. That hand signal is pointing to it.
The refs excuse for reviewing this was to see if ‘he was inside the arc.’ What is the ref on the baseline looking at here if he has to review this? pic.twitter.com/04gSJu5gkE
— Bobby Reagan (@BarstoolReags) December 19, 2019
When asked how the overturn was explained to him on the floor, Calipari would only say, “He just said ‘I’m allowed to go do it so I’m doing it.’ I said ‘OK.’ What am I going to say? So he did it, he changed it, and we still had our chance to make the three to take it to overtime.”