I am still in Janesville, Wisconsin, with the Whitworth basketball team, which lost last night in the third round of the NCAA Division III tournament. Here is my story on the game, which ended in dramatic and controversial fashion.
Even the next morning, I couldn't shake the feeling that Whitworth had this one taken away.
With 10 seconds left in overtime and the Pirates trailing by one, guard Dustin McConnell made an incredible steal at midcourt. With seven seconds he was driving in traffic, and with three seconds to go was tied up from behind in the lane by Virginia Wesleyan's Chris Teasley. That's right - from behind, pretty tough to do without a reacharound foul.
And just as I thought McConnell would go to the line for two shots, the refs signaled a jump ball. And with the possession arrow pointing the wrong way, that was the end of the season for the Pirates.
Interestingly, even the account of the game by the Daily Press of Norfolk, Va., cites “heavy contact” by Virginia Wesleyan as McConnell drove to the basket and being tied up from behind by Teasley.
A tough way for it all to end, but you have the feeling Whitworth will be back again soon.