I already watched the majority of the Michigan-Illinois game this evening, which Michigan won 72-61, the team's first victory at Illinois since the waning days of the Fab Five Era (January of 1995). As the game was drawing to its conclusion, ESPN was doing promos for the upcoming game on the network between the nation's number one team, Kentucky, and Georgia from Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky.
I decided to continue watching because though I have heard a lot about Kentucky's Anthony Davis and I believe he is as good as people say, I haven't actually watched him play very much this season. And this seems like a perfect time to watch given that the season is getting close to conference tournament time and in a few weeks the NCAA tournament will begin.
But all of this is not what inspired me to write this post. What did inspire me to write this post was an incident that occurred very early in the Georgia-Kentucky game, perhaps within the first minute, that will almost certainly make ESPN's highlights or perhaps their Not Top 10 Plays. Georgia had the ball near the top of the key, with the player dribbling toward the right side of the court. Another Georgia player cut toward the basket from the right side (I believe) and the player with the ball attempted a bounce pass to player cutting to the hoop. And it is about this time when hilarity ensued.
Anthony Davis instinctively kicked out his leg as the pass was being attempted. It was a great kick save as the ball deflected off of Davis's foot, launched in the air toward the out of bounds area,...and into the side of the face of the unsuspecting referee. Good times, but oh, it gets better. Well, the pass was hard enough that the ball hit the official with a considerable amount of pace still on the ball, the official was knocked off balance as he moved to the right side, and then finally he tripped and fell into the Kentucky cheerleaders that were sitting on the out of bounds baseline.
The whole incident was great as the good-natured referee had a smile on his face as he was helped to his feet and people checked on his well-being. And the entire incident was great as I also had a smile on my face in laughter as the official was helped to his feet and people checked on his well-being. For the record, the entire incident still would have been great even if the official didn't have a smile on his face as people checked on his well-being. The guy got hit in the face with the ball, stumbled, and then fell in the cheerleader section! Hysterical!