Watching Nebraska basketball coach Tim Miles walk off the court following his ejection by notorious referee Karl Hess was truly heartbreaking. The Co-Big Ten Coach of the Year already had one technical foul to his name. Maybe he took the first “T” to fire up a squad picked to finish dead last in its league that was playing like it for a change.
Maybe Miles thought he could take one for the team and give Nebraska fans their historic first NCAA tournament win.Thanks to Hess, all he could do was watch like the rest of us and hope. The guy simply wanted a fair shake when it came to the freakin‘ shot clock. The road to hell…
“…I started running toward the shot clock guy to say the clock’s not running, the clock’s not running, buzz the horn. At the same time, we foul. Now the last thing I wanted to do was go to the foul line again,” Miles said during the postgame press conference.
“So I‘m like, ‘You know, the shot clock never ran.’ Whatever. In my mind I‘m thinking that’s a correctable error. That is something we can go correct, and the official (Hess) came over and T’d me up. I said, ‘It’s the shot clock. It never ran …‘”
Now, I’m no big city refereein‘ type, but seems to me that in an official NCAA tournament game, ya’ll best to be havin‘ a shot clock a’runnin‘. Hess didn’t care about the clock. Miles was making a scene in his place and that wouldn’t be tolerated.
“I‘m like, ‘I’m just trying to get the game in line, that’s a correctable error.’ He’s like, ‘It’s too late. You’re gone.’”
To his crew’s credit, the Huskers did make a late run. They did get knocked out of their first Big Dance in 16 years, but they went down swinging. That’s little consolation, I know. I know because Miles told me. Well, me and the rest of Twitter.
Sorry about ball game today. Tough one. #GBR
— Tim Miles (@CoachMiles) March 21, 2014
Ugh. I don’t know about you, but I can feel the gut punch.
Once the malaise passes – which will admittedly take some time – Miles can look back on this season as nothing less than amazing.
No Nebrasketball fan expected to fill out a bracket with the option of selecting their own team. One point kept the Huskers’ home court from being a guaranteed conference win for the Big Red. Year two under Miles came to an end on March 21, but fans are already looking forward to next year. Those with season tickets have to be stoked.
As for Miles, he’ll likely receive a proper raise and an extension. He may have to wait to sign the papers for a few days.
Knowing him, he could be flying around the world recruiting again, taking a selfie or three along the way. Chin up, coach. Your boys never gave up. That’s the best compliment a leader can get.