Questionable decision costs New Mexico State win over Auburn
New Mexico State nearly pulled off the first 12-5 upset of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, but they were unable to capitalize on some incredible breaks late in the game.
The first came when the Aggies were trailing 73-69 with 41 seconds remaining in the second half. After Johnny McCants failed to make it a one-possession game by hitting only one of two free throws, it appeared New Mexico State tried to foul Auburn on the ensuing possession. A foul was committed, but the whistle didn’t blow. The result was a costly turnover for the Tigers.
But the real mistake came later. With New Mexico State trailing by two and just a few seconds remaining, AJ Harris must have thought it was a three-point game and passed up a wide open layup in favor of a three-point attempt. Luckily for Harris, Auburn fouled Terrell Brown in the act of shooting.
Passing up the wide open, game-tying layup for a three that draws a foul. THIS. IS. MARCH. pic.twitter.com/idvKsBaZ5I
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) March 21, 2019
Brown was only able to make one of three free throws, but New Mexico State caught yet another break when the ball went off Auburn and out of bounds with just over a second left. The Aggies got one last chance to win the game, but Trevelin Queen missed an open three-pointer.
If you remember, Auburn also benefitted from an extremely controversial no-call late in the SEC Tournament against Florida. Luck has been on Bruce Pearl’s side so far this March.