Kansas held off Samford on Thursday with the help of a foul called against the Bulldogs after a clean blocked shot. Photo Credit: TBS Photo Credit: TBS

Kansas defeated Samford in the final NCAA Tournament game of Thursday’s slate. It was probably the best game of the day — and also likely the day’s most controversial game.

Nursing a one-point lead with 19.9 seconds to play, the Jayhawks were inbounding the ball underneath their own basket. Kansas’ Nick Timberlake got free and appeared to be going in for an uncontested dunk. Samford’s A.J. Staton-McCray, however, chased Timberlake down, leapt and made what appeared to be a tremendous defensive play, blocking the shot.

Unfortunately for the Bulldogs and their fans, Staton-McCray was whistled for a foul.

Analyst Brendan Haywood immediately yelled that it was a block. Replays confirmed Haywood’s opinion and both play-by-play man Brad Nessler and rules analyst Gene Steratore both agreed. But no dice. Fouls are not reviewable. Timberlake made both of his free throws. Jermaine Marshall missed a three-pointer on Samford’s ensuing possession. Kansas’ Johnny Furphy then split two free throws to put the Jayhawks up 93-89 — which stood as the final score.

The play was discussed on the postgame show. Charles Barkley said, “The thing that bothers me about the play is, we review everything.”

“We sat here and watched them review like seven calls — but they couldn’t review that one,” Kenny Smith said.

Clark Kellogg, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley were not the only ones talking about the foul call. Far from it.

College basketball fans were mad that a call like that had such a dramatic influence on what was a great game.

[Photo Credit: TBS]

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