The No. 9 Seton Hall Pirates fought valiantly against the No. 8 Arkansas Razorbacks and actually led much of the afternoon on Friday in their round of 64 matchup.
But a brutal sequence of events as the clock ticked down at the end of the second half cost Seton Hall a chance to win their first NCAA Tournament game since 2004.
First, with Seton Hall trailing by one with under 30 seconds to play, Pirates point guard Khadeen Carrington got called for a blatant travel that handed the ball back to the Razorbacks and forced Seton Hall to foul in order to extend the game.
That’s where things really went off the rails for the Pirates.
Seton Hall’s Desi Rodriguez went to foul Arkansas’s Jaylen Barford but according to officials “made no play for the ball” in addition to accidentally tripping Barford, which resulted in a flagrant 1 foul call against the Pirates.
The call gave the Razorbacks two foul shots, both of which they made, and the ball, which forced Seton Hall to foul again. Arkansas then took advantage of the opportunity to extend their lead to a two-possession lead, effectively ending the Pirates’ season.
Immediate reaction to the call was extremely negative.
Some, however, thought that officials made the right call.
But most disagreed.