The sports world blasted officials in the national championship game after a seemingly unnecessary replay turned into crucial, late call

Virginia won the national championship with the help of a controversial review by the officials in the final minute.

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Virginia won the national championship with the help of a controversial review by the officials in the final minute.
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Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

  • Virginia defeated Texas Tech 85-77 in overtime on Monday night to win their first national championship.
  • The Cavaliers win came with the help of a controversial review in the final seconds of the game that turned possession back over to Virginia.
  • On Twitter, sports fans expressed their frustration with the decision to review the possession, as it interfered with what might have been a more compelling ending to the game.
  • Check out the rest of our March Madness coverage here.

Virginia completed its redemption tour on Monday night.

After becoming the first 1-seed to fall in the first round in the history of the men’s tournament in 2018, the Cavaliers bounced all the way back this year, defeating Texas Tech 85-77 in overtime to win their first national championship.

But while Virginia’s impressive performance put them in position to win, the Cavaliers were helped along in a big way by a controversial decision from the officials late in the game.

With just a minute left in overtime and Virginia holding a 75-73 lead, Texas Tech guard Davide Moretti came down with a defensive rebound and tried to start the fast break.

Moretti was chased down by Cavaliers guard De’Andre Hunter, who poked the ball out of bounds, stopping the break, but keeping possession with the Red Raiders – or so we thought.

The officials decided to review the play, and found after slowing down the instant replay to frame-by-frame levels, the ball had actually touched Moretti’s fingertip just a hair longer than Hunter’s, and possession was awarded back to the Cavaliers.

While the call was technically correct, it felt wrong – in any other situation, Texas Tech would have had the ball and a chance to tie the game or even take the lead. But because the game was in its final two minutes, and because officials now largely err on the side of caution, the play went to review, and possession changed hands.

Replay is supposed to prevent egregious misses by the refs from affecting the outcome of games, but at what point does “getting the call correct” become an over-intrusive standard?

On Twitter, many in the sports world expressed their disgust with how the final seconds of the game played out.

Virginia would drain free throws on their next two possessions and never let Texas Tech back within striking distance.

No matter how you feel about the decision to review and eventually overturn possession that late in the game, Virginia is now men’s basketball national champions for the first time in their history.

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