Minutes after Seton Hall lost the 1989 NCAA championship game in overtime, with a debatable blocking foul sending Michigan’s Rumeal Robinson to the line for the winning free throws, Pirates coach P.J. Carlesimo did the unimaginable when he met with reporters.
He complimented the official who made the crucial call.
The graciousness Carlesimo showed that night in Seattle runs counter to all those click-bait videos of coaches and players who are not at their best after heart-wrenching losses.
The latest angry loser: Bo Ryan.
The Wisconsin coach, unlike Carlesimo a quarter-century ago, was in no mood to toss bouquets after his team’s 68-63 loss to Duke on Monday night. The Badgers were called for 13 fouls in the second half after getting whistled for two in the first, the biggest disparity between halves in a title game since at least 2004, according to STATS.
“There was more body contact in this game than any game we played all year, and I just felt sorry for my guys that all of a sudden a game was like that. I think they are struggling with that a little bit,” Ryan said in his postgame television interview.
Maybe Ryan had a legitimate beef. But either way, social-media judgment was rendered swiftly. Ryan was called, among other things, a whiner.
Ryan benefited from a major officiating blunder in Saturday’s semifinal win over Kentucky. No violation was called even though the shot clock struck zero while the ball was still in Nigel Hayes’ hands before he made the game-tying shot with 2:41 to play. Wisconsin never trailed after that.
Ryan had some time to cool off between his CBS interview and formal postgame news conference Monday night. Still, he couldn’t resist commenting some more on the way the game against Duke was called. “We missed some opportunities. They hit some tough shots. But you know it’s just a shame that it had to be played that way.”
Ryan also took a swipe at the culture where some players leave for the NBA after one year in college. He made no mention of that after his team beat Kentucky, the team best known for one-and-done players, but he threw out a zinger after the loss to Duke, which could lose freshmen Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow to the NBA. “We don’t do rent-a-player,” Ryan said.