A bizarre 18 seconds

Connecticut's Ryan Boatright, top, tumbles over Marquette's Davante Gardner in overtime of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, in Milwaukee. Marquette won 82-76 in overtime. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

Connecticut’s Ryan Boatright, top, tumbles over Marquette’s Davante Gardner in overtime of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, in Milwaukee. Marquette won 82-76 in overtime. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

John F. Silver

It was all looking so good for the Huskies with 5.9 seconds left  against Marquette.

Ryan Boatright had just hit a contested jumper from 18 feet and the Huskies led Marquette 69-66.

That’s when things went south for the Huskies in an agonizing and bizarre 18 seconds of game action.

Marquette’s Junior Cadougan — 16 percent shooter from 3-point range — was allowed to dribble up the court uncontested and launched a 30-footer that swished the net to force overtime at 69-69. 

Then, in the first 12 seconds of overtime the referees had UConn and Marquette going the wrong way. A goal tend by Marquette’s Jamil Wilson of a Shabazz Napier shot and two points for UConn was waived off. The rule book is clear that in the case of going the wrong way, the score should have counted anyways and that the referees were in error.

The Huskies went on to lose 82-76 and head coach Kevin Ollie told reporters after that he didn’t think the loss of two points cost UConn (10-3) the win.

Still, those 18 seconds spanning regulation and overtime made Tuesday’s game go from a terrific big East opener to a bizarre sideshow.

At the end of regulation Ollie said after the game that he wanted to foul and put Cadougan at the line shooting foul shots down 3. Marquette never called a timeout and allowed UConn to set up their defense and Ollie’s will was never communicated to his team. The lack of ball pressure by UConn was also perplexing as Cadougan essentially went fullcourt with no resistance until a late contest by Boatright on the last second have.

As far as the overtime, the officials were in error and then compounded it by negating two points.

Through a Marquette spokesmen, lead official Karl Hess said the waiving off of the two points was in error. According to the NCAA rule book,  Rule Five, Article One, Section Three: “When the official permits a team to go in the wrong direction and the error is discovered, all activity and time consumed shall count as if each team had gone in the proper direction. Play is then resumed with each team going in the proper direction.”

The Huskies are 10-3, 0-1 in the Big East and now will sit for a week before resuming the season against DePaul.

Postgame links

UConn Men: A Strange One For The Rule Books (Hartford Courant)

UConn men fall in Big East opener at Marquette (Courant)

UConn couldn’t overcome bad breaks (CT Post)