College of Charleston’s loss to Auburn Friday night is ancient news in March Madness terms. Heck, Auburn has already been sent packing by another South Carolina team with Clemson punching its ticket to the Sweet Sixteen last night.
But we just want to be on the record: College of Charleston was robbed.
With about five seconds to go, Charleston guard Grant Riller rose up for what would have been a game-tying three pointer when an Auburn defender hit his shooting elbow, causing the shot to fall obviously short. If a foul had been called, Riller would have had three foul shots to tie the game.
Alas, there was no whistle.
After the game, ESPN commentator Jay Bilas, the king of hardcourt hot takes, tweeted that there was “no question” that Riller was fouled.
Coach Bruce Pearl blamed the Cougar shooters for trying to draw the foul on the long-range shot, saying postgame that “College of Charleston likes to kick out their legs on threes.”
[content-2] Pearl knows a thing or two about hamming it up for NCAA officials: This year marked the SEC coach’s first tournament since he served three years of sanctions from the league after they say he lied about a recruiting violation. And this season, Auburn staff and players have been ensnared in an ongoing national FBI investigation that is not yet fully resolved.
(But CofC is of course very familiar with flopping sharpshooters after playing against Steph Curry in the SoCon for years.)
Even CofC Athletic Director Matt Roberts went to bat for the Cougars after the game, applauding players and Coach Earl Grant for not making too big of a fuss after the game.
Heck of a season, Cougars.