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Steve Alford Cusses at BYU’s Jonathan Tavernari After New Mexico’s Win

Last time we heard from BYU senior Jonathan Tavernari, he was in the middle of a Holy War skirmish between BYU and Utah. Not much has changed for the 6’6″ forward. Tavernari was guarding New Mexico star player Darington Hobson with 52 seconds left when the clock was stopped because of a timeout. Hobson was upset that Tavernari was playing him so closely and it appeared as if Hobson threw an elbow at Tavernari. The refs didn’t see anything wrong in the replay so the game played on. New Mexico won 83-81 but the hostility between the teams spilled over into the handshake lineup after the game. Check out this video of Steve Alford cussing at Jonathan Tavernari after the game via The Sporting Blog (warning: profanity):

While the video makes Alford out to be the bad guy, The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Tavernari went into New Mexico’s locker room after the game to apologize for his behavior. Moreover, “Alford told Tavernari that he initially was just trying to tell him that he had a heck of a career at BYU.” Sure sounds to me like Tavernari is the a-hole in this one, even if Alford is getting all the bad press. By the way, that’s a heck of a win for New Mexico. At 27-3, they’re likely headed for a three or four seed in the tourney and they’ve proven they can win anywhere.

Basketball Holy War Turns into a Fight

Max Hall famously ripped into Utah following the Holy War during football season, calling them classless and saying he hated everything about them. That sort of venom seemed to pour over into the basketball matchup on Saturday in Provo, a game that was won by BYU 82-69. The Cougars had the win in the bag in the final minute but that’s when some drama broke out. Utah freshman Marshall Henderson was trying to save a ball from going out of bounds and he threw it into Jonathan Tavernari’s face. Tavernari was upset with how hard the ball was thrown so he began to have words with Henderson. Henderson then flailed his arm in a get away from me type of motion and his hand landed on the face of Jackson Emery who did a nice flop. Check out this video from the crowd around the 1:00 mark:

The refs got things under control pretty quickly as you saw, and Henderson wound up being ejected. It’s unclear whether his motive was to strike Emery but it doesn’t matter — raising his arm like that endangered another player and he has to suffer the consequence. With another meeting between the teams coming up on March 3rd, you know there will be plenty of bad blood to go around.