Mark Few praises referees despite questionable calls in Gonzaga loss
Gonzaga was on the wrong end of more than one bad call in Monday night’s national championship game, but head coach Mark Few handled himself with class after the tough loss to North Carolina.
When asked about the officiating crew calling a whopping 44 fouls in the game (including this extremely questionable one on Gonzaga’s Zach Collins), Few had nothing but positive things to say.
Mark Few: "Those are three of the best officials in the country… I thought they did a fabulous job and I'm on the losing end."
— Kristen Rodgers (@KristenERodgers) April 4, 2017
The most crucial missed call in the game came late in the fourth quarter with North Carolina leading 66-65. North Carolina’s Joel Berry missed a 3-point shot with 54 seconds left, and there was a fight under the basket for the rebound. With a tie-up for the ball, the officials called for a jump ball. However, replays showed a UNC player had his hand out of bounds while his other hand was touching the ball. You can see a video here.
The play was not reviewable, and Few said he was unaware of what was going on at the time.
“No, there wasn’t [any talk of reviewing the play],” he told reporters, via Myron Medcalf of ESPN.com. “I wish … and that’s probably on me. I had no idea. I just, from my angle, it didn’t look like it was a situation where there was an out-of-bounds situation, or else I would have called for a review. So nobody made me aware of it, or I certainly would have within the last minute there or two minutes. So that’s tough. It’s tough to hear. But, you know, that’s just the way it goes.”
North Carolina went on to win 71-65 in what many are calling one of the ugliest NCAA championship games in history. Even LeBron James and an NFL star blasted the officiating crew on Twitter, but Few deserves a lot of credit for the way he handled the loss.