On Monday night the biggest game in recent Iowa State basketball history took place, as the number six team in the country, and favorite to win the Big 12 Conference, the Kansas Jayhawks visited Hilton Coliseum in Ames. The game was a nationally televised game on ESPN’s “Big Monday”, and what made this game different than every other year when the Cyclones play host to the Jayhawks was the overwhelming amount of optimism, especially after earlier this year the when Iowa State had Kansas on the ropes in Lawrence, when a last second three point ball hoisted up by KU freshman Ben McLemore, banked off of the back board and through the bucket sending the game into overtime, where the Cyclones never recovered and went on to lose.
This round on Monday night ended eerily similar. The game appeared to be in hand for the Cyclones when the wheels fell off. In the final seconds of regulation, the possession after Korie Lucious went one for two from the charity line; there was a no call that had everyone talking on Tuesday. By every rule of the definition a charging foul should have been called, but after two players collided leaving them both on the ground, a charge was not called, instead, while both players were scrambling for the ball, a reach-in foul was called on Iowa State Freshman, Georges Naing. It seems that as of late referees are taking the initiative to not take initiative and basically swallowing the whistles in the final seconds of games. There was a similar play to this a couple weeks ago in a Michigan and Ohio State game where Ohio State guard Aaron Kraft had his shot blocked, and there appeared to be a considerable amount of contact while he was trying to get his shot off in the final possession; that play pales in comparison to the no charge call at Hilton Coliseum.
This is not how Iowa State lost the game, I believe what every coach will say after every win or loss, and that is that a game is not won by one play or one call or even one no call, it is the accumulation of the plays that happen throughout the entire game that gives us the winner and the loser. Perhaps though the players are beginning to understand, that in the final seconds of a game that if they go hard to the hoop the positive outcomes are in their favor over that of the defenders, especially a defender whose plan of attack is to stand still with the hopes of someone running into him.