Saturday’s Pac-12 Conference Championship Game between the No. 2 ranked UCLA Bruins and No. 8 ranked Arizona Wildcats has been one of the more anticipated championship games thus far. However, many are upset with the officials on one particularly awful call made in the first half.
The play occurred with 6:13 remaining in the half. UCLA star Jaime Jaquez found impressive freshman guard Amari Bailey cutting to the rim. Bailey proceeded to throw down a highlight-reel poster dunk over an Arizona defender.
However, the basket was waived off as an offensive foul was called on the play despite Arizona’s Filip Borovicanin clearly being in the restricted area at the time of the dunk.
Took away an incredible poster dunk for UCLA. 🏀🔨👮 pic.twitter.com/ZerycBBcuo
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) March 12, 2023
Others around the college basketball world took notice of this call and disagreed heavily with it.
That offensive foul on Amari Bailey is legitimately the worst call in the history of basketball.
— Josh Newman (@Joshua_Newman) March 12, 2023
That's actually an unacceptable call on Amari Bailey to wave off that dunk. That was maybe the dunk of the year and the official got an off-arm call just wrong. are you kidding me?
— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) March 12, 2023
Refs owe Amari Bailey a sportscenter top 10 nod
— Jerrold Smith II (@jerroldhtims) March 12, 2023
— Tim Cates (@timcates) March 12, 2023
You will never in your life — ever ever ever ever — see a worse call in basketball than one that just took away a slam dunk from Amari Bailey.
It was maybe worse than the one that baseball ump made that’s been such a thing on Twitter today.
— Michael DeCourcy (@tsnmike) March 12, 2023
AMARI BAILEY OH MY GOD
HOW DO YOU WAVE THIS OFF pic.twitter.com/PYEReJbxhX
— Barstool Sportsbook (@BSSportsbook) March 12, 2023
OH MY GOD AMARI BAILEY AND I CANNOT BELIEVE THE OFFICIAL JUST MADE THAT CALL!!!!!!!!!!!
— Tony Jones (@Tjonesonthenba) March 12, 2023
Instead of Amari Bailey having perhaps the most impressive moment in his young collegiate career, he felt the wrath of some pretty awful officiating.
Even if the refs didn’t notice Borovicanin standing in the restricted area, it seems like he was late getting into position anyways to take the charge. It is obviously just one missed call in the span of an entire game, but the stakes involved for both teams could be huge.
UCLA certainly has a case for being named the top overall one seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament with a Pac-12 Conference Tournament win. Arizona meanwhile is playing to likely be named a two-seed in the NCAA Tournament with a win.
[The Comeback on Twitter, Photo Credit: ESPN]