Did Duke benefit from bad calls on RJ Barrett, Zion Williamson plays?
Duke escaped with a 77-76 victory against UCF in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday and of course faced questions about whether or not they received favorable treatment from the officials.
Two particular plays are receiving attention following the Blue Devils’ narrow win over the Knights. The first came on Zion Williamson’s driving layup with 14 seconds left that made it 76-75 UCF. Williamson drove the lane and made contact with UCF big man Tacko Fall, who was called for a foul.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 24, 2019
There is a dispute about whether that was a block or charge. The call went Duke’s way and had two consequences — helping Duke close the margin and also taking Fall off the floor because he fouled out.
The second call came after Williamson missed his free throw after the Fall foul. RJ Barrett got a putback to give his team the lead. Some believe he should have been called for a foul for a push in the back.
People keep saying Barrett pushed his man in the back. I don’t see it. pic.twitter.com/PyFzTXyyB2
— Mark Ennis (@MarkEnnis) March 24, 2019
All they had to do was just pick one of these fouls, or call the charge that Zion committed before Fall fouled out pic.twitter.com/tg9j8rm1A2
— Mark Calchera (@mcalchera) March 24, 2019
Even with those calls going in Duke’s favor, UCF still had its chances to win. They blew an alley-oop that would have made it 76-70 and probably sealed the game. They also barely missed two shots at the end of the game.
Favorable calls or not, Duke will advance to the Sweet 16 while UCF goes home after a great game.