Duke upended Syracuse in a fierce, classic game Saturday night in Durham, N.C., but all anyone was talking about was Coach Jim Boeheim’s enraged outburst in the final moments.
Boeheim earned the first ejection of his 38-year career when he questioned the judgment of referee Tony Greene is a berserk, profane way, rushing onto the court to protest a charge called on C.J. Fair with 10.4 seconds left. The loss of control was particularly costly for the Orange, who have lost two games in a row after winning their first 25.
“I don’t know what he said, but Coach was hot,” Fair said of the 66-60 loss. “We really wanted this game. Emotion got the best of us. … I think, yeah, I think maybe if we didn’t get the techs, we probably still had a chance to win. We lost by [six]? He made three of the four free throws. You do the math.”
Afterward, Boeheim, who previously had been ejected only in a 2005 exhibition, said in his press conference: “I thought the game was extremely well-officiated.” When reporters laughed, Boeheim said he was serious, then went on to explain the difference between a block and a charge in light of a rules change during the offseason. “It’s been explained a hundred times,” he said. “C.J. got in his motion. I saw the replay. The guy was moving. That’s it. Simple as that.”
The rule states that “a defensive player is not permitted to move into the path of an offensive player once he has started his upward motion with the ball to attempt a field goal or pass. If the defensive player is not in legal guarding position by this time, it is a blocking foul.”
Instead, there was a Cameron Crazy was named Boeheim, who disagreed and had to admit of his ejection, “Can you believe that’s the first time?”
As meltdowns go, this one was epic as well as costly. “I thought I got out there pretty good,” Boeheim said. “I was quick. I stayed down. I didn’t get injured.”
Nor will he be punished. ACC spokesperson Amy Yakola told ESPN that the foul, technicals and ejection were all handled correctly…not that Boeheim agreed.
“I just thought that was the worst call of the year, that’s all,” Boeheim said Saturday. “I just hate to see the game decided on that call.”