LeBron James

Gonzaga-North Carolina had the potential to be an all-time classic with two No. 1 seeds going head-to-head for a national title. The game, which finished as a 71-65 win for North Carolina, was a bit sloppier than expected from the start, but the refs managed to kill all rhythm by calling 22 fouls in the first 12 minutes of the second half, drawing the ire of none other than LeBron James and Dwyane Wade (as well as most of college basketball Twitter).

Before anyone says these are just an NBAers hating on the college game, plenty of college hoops folk complained as well. That includes Bill Raftery, who was doing color commentary for CBS.

And here’s just a fraction of those who expressed their distaste for the refs on Twitter.

So, yeah. Not a great showing for the refs here.

There’s no question the game is still exciting, but the flow — or lack thereof — will keep it from being an all-time classic that college basketball diehards will watch in full years later. While watching the entirety of recent championship game classics such as Duke-Butler from 2010 or Villanova-UNC from last year can be very entertaining, people will just skip to the finish for this one.

That’s a shame.

About Jesse Kramer

Jesse is a writer and editor for The Comeback. He has also worked for SI.com and runs The Catch and Shoot, a college basketball website based in Chicago. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Follow Jesse on Twitter @Jesse_Kramer.