Saturday, March 5, 2011

VIDEO: Preston Knowles costs Louisville a win at West Virginia

Preston Knowles did his best to give Louisville the three seed in the Big East Tournament.

Despite struggling with his shot throughout much of the game and while watching the Cardinals' front line get absolutely torched by the Mountaineers (WVU grabbed 61.5% of the available offensive rebounds), Knowles got hot late. He scored seven straight points to give Louisville a 67-61 lead with two minutes left, and it looked like Louisville was going to leave Morgantown with a win.

West Virginia was able to whittle the lead down to 70-67 with 14 seconds left, and that's when the "Knowles Knightmare" started:

First, Knowles -- who is usually a sensational defender -- lost West Virginia's best shooter trailing a screen. Casey Mitchell drilled the game-tying three. Louisville didn't have any timeouts, so Knowles dribbled the other way and forced a contested 23 footer with plenty of time left on the clock. As if that wasn't enough, in his effort to get the rebound, Knowles fouled Truck Bryant with 0.6 seconds left.

Bryant hit both free throws.

Game over.

The issue that will be debated after this game is whether or not a foul should have been called. On the one hand, Bryant was 80 feet from the rim. There was less than a second left. Even without the foul, Bryant wasn't going to win this game at the buzzer.

But Knowles fouled him. It was as obvious a foul as you will ever see. The fact that Knowles even put himself in a position where he could cost his team a game with a boneheaded play is what should be discussed, not whether or not a foul should have been called.

The foul call decided the game.

But it was Knowles who forced the referees to make the call.

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