Here's why fans should not discredit Kansas basketball in Jayhawks win over Samford

The controversial foul call in the closing seconds of the game was not the only reason why the Kansas Jayhawks defeated Samford in the Round of 64.

Mar 21, 2024; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Nicolas Timberlake (25) reacts
Mar 21, 2024; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Nicolas Timberlake (25) reacts / Gabriel Mayberry-USA TODAY Sports
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If you follow college basketball, you have likely seen the foul call that potentially won the Kansas basketball team its Round of 64 matchup against Samford. A clean block by A.J. Staton-McCray was called a shooting foul on Nick Timberlake, who would subsequently hit a pair of free throws to extend the lead to three.

Staton-McCray's rejection was a by-the-book rejection. The referees should not have called a foul, and it is a bad look for the NCAA. However, those discrediting Kansas' win are in the wrong. Here is why.

Kansas basketball deserved its win over Samford despite questionable foul call

While the foul call toward the end of the game will be remembered more than any other play, college basketball games are 40 minutes long, and each basket, turnover, or block matters the same in the end. The outcome of any game never comes down to one missed call, and it was a poorly officiated game even before the Staton-McCray's block.

There were several bad calls that took away points or possessions for the Jayhawks. Just before Samford cut the deficit to one point, Bulldogs star Achor Achor blatantly traveled when driving to the hoop before he had a huge dunk. Right after that play, KJ Adams was smacked on the back at full speed for no apparent reason without a whistle.

You can argue cherry-pick specific plays from any juncture in the game or argue that some calls mean more than others, which is a perfectly fair assertion, but every play counts the same on the box score. Samford did not lead for a single second in the game, nor did they have the lead when Timberlake was allegedly fouled. While unfortunate, the Bulldogs had 40 minutes to go ahead with a pretty favorable whistle on their end.

Timberlake was attacking the basket at full speed, and it is a foul that many refs would have called in real-time. It was not the correct call, but there is no reason why fans should discredit Kansas' win when looking at it from a wider scope.

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