Jan 6, 2012, 12:33 AM EDT
Louisiana-Lafayette’s Elfrid Payton played the hero in Thursday night’s 72-70 overtime win against Western Kentucky.
Well, Payton and the refs.
Payton’s driving layup in the final seconds came when the Ragin’ Cajuns had six players on the floor, though the referees didn’t notice. (Yes, that’s one player too many.) If they had, it would’ve been a technical foul and the Hilltoppers’ ball. It couldn’t be reviewed because the players had already left the court. There’s also no option to appeal.
And there was plenty of time to notice.
Payton received the in-bounds with more than 20 seconds left, shrugs off a wide-open teammate, nearly loses the ball then drives for the game-winning layup through the Western Kentucky defense. By then, the Hilltoppers were undoubtedly tired of chasing around so many players.
“It’s a hard pill to swallow,” Western Kentucky coach Ken McDonald told CBSSports.com afterward. “The refs made a mistake.”
As the broadcast team mentions, the refs huddled for a few seconds after the game, then got out of there.
Seems they finally realized what happened.
You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.
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