OPINION: Referees Cheat for the Jayhawks in Kansas

Lawrence, Kansas – Back in February 2018, the West Virginia Mountaineers visited the Allen Fieldhouse (The Phog) in Lawrence, Kansas.

West Virginia was up 12 points with 10 minutes to play, but the Jayhawks came back to win 77-69.  Did Kansas out-play West Virginia in the final minutes of the game?  No, they did not.

The Mountaineers were victims of the most lop-sided, unfair officiating in modern college basketball history.

Kansas shot 35 free throws during the game.  West Virginia shot two in the entire game.  Bob Huggins, who was ejected late in the game, said the following: “I’ve been doing this for 40 years.  I don’t think I’ve ever been in a game where we shot two free throws.

I don’t think I’ve ever been in a game where the disparity is 35-2.  I’ve never been in a game like that.  That can’t happen.  You have no chance to win.”

Huggins, of course, was absolutely right.  Winning a game with a 33 free throw difference is an impossibility.

Last season, Huggins was fined $10,000 for speaking out against the referees and referring to them as “three blind mice” following a 60-53 loss in Lawrence.

“I can’t control what those three blind mice running around out there do,” Huggins said on his postgame radio show.

“What we would all love to see is consistency,” Huggins added. “Foul there. Foul here. I understand it’s a hard job, but they do get paid pretty handsomely for it. Just be consistent.”

Tonight, West Virginia will not only face a team full of heavily-recruited, blue chip athletes but also the three referees on the court that can potentially have more impact on the game than anyone.  However, with only 2,500 fans in the stands at Allen Fieldhouse, perhaps the home-court advantage will not be as dramatic, and the Mountaineers can finally get Bob Huggins his first win at Kansas as the head coach of West Virginia.