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Houston’s Kelvin Sampson on controversial ending vs. Alabama: ‘It was goaltending’



Houston men’s basketball coach Kelvin Sampson wasn’t going to mince words following his team’s loss to Alabama on Saturday.

The No. 9 Crimson Tide got a late dunk from JDย Davisonย and then a block from the guard on the other end to win 83-82. But fans of the No. 14 Cougars โ€” and certainly their coach โ€” thought Davison should have been called for goaltending and that the play should have been reviewed.

“It was goaltending,” Sampson told reporters after the game. He added that he did not receive a response from officials as they were leaving the court.

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The closing sequence began with 32 seconds left in the game. Alabama guard Jahvon Quinerly drove into the post and attempted to float in a layup. The ball deflected off the glassย but Davison made the rebound and slammed it home for theย go-ahead dunk with 29 seconds remaining.

The Cougars called a timeout with 24 seconds left. Houston guard Kyler Edwards had to scramble to get a shot off from deep 3-point range after the ball was knocked loose with four seconds left. Cougars forward Fabian White got the rebound and to flip up a layup, but Davison came in and swatted the ball away.

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Here’s one angle of the play:

And here’s another:

Look like goaltending? NCAA rules define goaltending as when a defensive player touches the ball when it is on a downward flight, above the level of the ring and has the possibility, while in the air, of entering the basket and it does not touch the cylinder.

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The ball was certainly in downward flight, but the question was whether it was above the level of the ring and whether it had a realistic chance of entering the basket.

Alabama coach Nate Oats told reporters after the game thatย he could sympathize with Sampson.

Although, in the moment, right after the end of the game, it looked as if Oats was just waiting to shake Sampson’s hand and close the book on his team’s second consecutive win over a ranked opponent.



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