RJ Melendez, Brad Underwood share what officials said about technical foul on dunk
A bad call by the NCAA Tournament officials is one of the more memorable sequences of Sunday’s Illinois-Houston game.
Illinois’ RJ Melendez dunked at the 8:40 mark of the second half, cutting Houston’s lead to 46-42. To the surprise of everyone, Melendez was called for a technical foul for staying on the rim too long.
Horrendous tech pic.twitter.com/9FPXpfx0Dn
— CJ Fogler AKA Perc70 #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) March 20, 2022
The technical foul was a hot topic in the postgame press conference.
“I didn’t get no explanation from the ref,” Melendez said to media members. “I don’t know what was the problem with that, I was going full speed in that transition, so I always thinking about what happened landing on the mat, on the rim, so I just try to hang on, go a bit of rhythm, come back on both feet.
“So I don’t know what was the tech behind the fast break, but I tried to ask the ref what was it, he didn’t want to explain to me what was the tech about.”
The technical foul killed Illinois’ momentum and Houston widened its lead to double digits as it closed out a Round of 32 win.
“Yeah, it’s deflating,” Illini coach BradUnderwood told reporters.You make a play, it changes the momentum of the game. And have that called in the moment? I can’t wait to see it.
Underwood continued, revealing that the official knew he made a mistake.
“He told me he shouldn’t ever have called it, but in the moment he calls it,” the Illini coach said. “Maybe it’s personal, I don’t know. When a kid has a full head of steam going 100 miles an hour, and we all talk about safety and well-being of student-athletes, come on. And then to kill momentum like that? Horrible.”