On Thursday morning, Charlotte was number one in Ken Pomeroy's "luck" rankings which measures the luckiest teams in all of college basketball. I usually disregard that stat/witchcraft, but I may have changed my attitude today when Charlotte staged an improbable comeback, aided by A-10 officials who awarded them eight free-throws in five seconds.
The 49ers trailed, 63-60, with the ball and 10 seconds to play when Richmond elected to foul. With 4.7 seconds left on the clock, Charlotte's Pierria Henry made the front end of a one-and-one. On the ensuing rebound attempt, Richmond's Derrick Williams was hit with a technical foul for unnecessarily shoving an opposing player. Pierria, who finished with 28 points and 12 rebounds, made his second free throw, then two more on the technical to give Charlotte the lead.
When the 49ers inbounded the ball following Pierria's makes, Richmond quickly fouled. Once the whistle was blown, the Spiders' bench was hit with two more technicals, head coach Chris Mooney was ejected and the 49ers added to their advantage and put the game out of reach.
It's extremely unorthodox for officials to take the game into their hands in the final seconds of an elimination tournament game, over such an innocuous play. March Madness has indeed begun. Looks like the officials are feelin' it first. Video