The Longhorns were the victims of poor officiating
In the final moments, Texas appeared to receive bad calls that cost them the game. Reuters

Blaming the officials after a defeat is usually the first response from a sore loser.

But the final moments of Sunday's Arizona-Texas game in Tulsa serves as an example of gross incompetence by the officials, and offers Texas, the losing team, a legitimate gripe about the final outcome.

Let's start with the last play of the game, and work our way backwards.

The officiating crew appeared to get the call right on the review of the last play. Texas forward Gary Johnson looked like he was fouled on his shot attempt, but it came after the final buzzer.

However, the officials made no call. They didn't blow the whistle on the foul or review if the contact came before or after the buzzer.

In a play that can be judged by a tenth of a second, the officials determined that the game was over and Arizona had won.

Whether the foul was legitimate or not is debatable. It's also understandable for an official to not make a foul call in the dying moments of a game unless the foul is obvious. That may very well have been the case in that instance, but it was somewhat inconsistent with what transpired earlier.

The shot that Johnson rebounded came after a drive to the basket by Texas guard J'Covan Brown with less than 10 seconds remaining.

Brown, who was a perfect in his last 25 free-throw attempts in the tournament, drove to the basket and received a forearm to his oblique from Arizona guard Kyle Fogg, and also appeared to receive contact from Wildcats' forward Derrick Williams after Brown's shot.

The contact might have been minimal, but there certainly was contact. Again, it's acceptable for an official to not blow the whistle in such circumstances.

Immediately after Brown's shot, Johnson may have been fouled while he had the ball low, and on his way up. Then, he certainly appeared to be fouled on his shot attempt, though we learned from replay that it came after the game had ended.

All four potential fouls could easily have been called despite being somewhat light fouls and not necessarily deserving to be called in a late-game situation. Texas, though, was neither given the benefit of the doubt, nor the benefit of replay from the officials.

According to Steve Kerr, who was broadcasting the game on TNT: The three officials conferred at the end. They looked at each other and they said, 'Did you call a foul?' They all said, 'no.' And they left the floor.

Kerr made those comments about 45 seconds after the game ended, meaning the officials were in a hurry to get out of there.

Before they left, Texas forward Jordan Hamilton conferred with them, and head coach Rick Barnes stared near half court with confusion.

An official explained his decision following the game.

We all had a look and didn't have a foul on the play, said official Richard Cartmell. And the buzzer clearly went off before there was contact up high. So.... there's no review involved, game over.

Cartmell believed the buzzer clearly went off before there was contact even though it was very close on replay. Basically, he concedes there was contact, but doesn't admit that there was a foul, even though it looked like it. He also admits that the officials conferred about the foul, and say it didn't happen.

Just one player earlier, a similar situation with contact occurred.

With 14.5 seconds remaining, Arizona had the ball, and Williams drove to the basket and scored off a great bank shot.

A questionable foul was called against Hamilton, and it gave Williams the free-throw attempt, which he converted, putting Arizona ahead.

Hamilton was late in trying to draw the blocking call, and certainly a blocking call should not have been made, but the contact was minimal, if there was any at all, and a no-call might have been the best response.

I never felt body contact, Hamilton said.

All of these foul decisions can be considered typical in a basketball game. Referees are humans after all, and it's not as if each of the specific calls or non-calls in the game was so overt that the officials should be questioned.

Mistakes happen, and it can be argued that those weren't mistakes at all.

However, those calls are worthy of inspection when considering the call that occurred before Williams's shot.

On an in-bounds play, Texas guard Cory Joseph was whistled for a five-second violation before he could call a timeout.

Officials make chopping gestures to signal each second. After the fourth chop, Joseph clearly calls timeout. But the official still ruled it a five-second violation.

Joseph was following the chops, not the timer that is going on in the official's head.

Apparently to Cartmell, that's what Joseph needed to do.

I had 5 seconds before the kid turned and signaled a timeout, said Cartmell. I had to make a decision whether it was 5 seconds or a timeout and I made the decision it was 5 seconds because I had counted 5 seconds before he called timeout.

On replay, that was not the case at all.

Cartmell stopped short of his fifth chop, and blew the whistle. He was emphatic with his call that it was a five-second violation.

For those watching at home, the events that were unfolding were unclear from the commentators' reactions.

Broadcasters Marv Albert and Kerr didn't place enough emphasis on what truly transpired with the five-second violation. Kerr also disregarded the three potential fouls that Arizona may have committed before the more clear foul after the buzzer.

Studio analyst Seth Davis said that Joseph didn't know the rule that an in-bounding player can't call timeout after the fourth second.

It turns out that isn't true.

According to Seth Davis on Twitter: My earlier tweet was incorrect. A player can call a time out up until the ref counts to five. Rule changed several years ago. Apologies.

Broadcasting missteps aside, it was the officials' errors that deserve highlighting.

What also remains shocking is that Cartmell made his self-indicting statements in the first place. He could have easily conceded that he was wrong, or offered a better explanation.

For Barnes, a coach who has been maligned by some critics for his ability to recruit but not win, the loss based on the poor officiating and the ill-advised responses that accompanied them must especially hurt.

I was stunned, Barnes said. I was flabbergasted.

As well he should be.