The officiating was criticized throughout the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
A few highly questionable calls played major roles in the outcomes of games, including both Final Four matchups on Saturday night. Not surprisingly, the referees were at the center of controversy in Monday night’s college basketball national championship game.
Michigan guard Trey Burke was called for a foul with 5:09 left when he appeared to block Peyton Siva cleanly. Siva hit two free throws, giving Louisville a 69-64 lead. From that moment on, the Wolverines never got back within four points and eventually lost, 82-76.
The blown call may have changed the complexion of the game, as the Cardinals used the foul to go on a 9-2 run.
“It definitely could have gave us some momentum," Burke said. "We would have gotten the ball back, but we can't go back on that now."
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Michigan head coach John Beilein refused to blame the officials, putting the loss on himself and his players.
"That was a great crew working the game," Beilein said afterward. "Those were three of the best guys out there."
In Louisville’s win over Wichita State on Saturday, fans were upset about a questionable jump ball call that sealed the win for the Cardinals. Michigan benefited from a referee mistake in their seminal contest against Syracuse. Brandon Triche was called for a charge when it looked like he should’ve been awarded two free throws and a chance to tie the game in the last minute.
The Wolverines got off to a hot start on Monday, leading by as many as 12 points in the first half. Louisville, though, made a charge and went to halftime down by just one. Burke ended the game with 24 points, but sat 14 of the first 20 minutes because of foul trouble.
Below is the video of the foul call on Burke.