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Ryan Greene

Brian Williams' controversial game-winner keeps Vols relevant

Ryan Greene
The Dagger

And you thought Tennessee's season couldn't get any more controversial, huh?

Brian Williams hit a dramatic, awkward game-winner on Tuesday night to propel the Vols past Georgia, 59-57, in Athens.

The shot came after Tobias Harris missed a potential dagger of his own from the left corner. Williams snatched an offensive rebound away from UGA's Chris Barnes, then flipped it back up quickly, sending his teammates into a frenzy.

But should a foul have been called after Williams appeared to go over Barnes' back for the board? (Maybe.) Was it clean? (Probably not.) Was it a jump ball? (That sounds about right.)

Williams was noncommittal when asked afterwards.

"Call it how you want to," he told reporters, according to ESPN. "It might have been a foul, maybe not. I'm glad they didn't call a foul on that."

"I'm Kobe [Bryant] mixed with a little Dirk [Nowitzki]," Williams said of the game-winner, according to a tweet from radio personality Wes Rucker.

Other than maybe providing college basketball's quote of the year, the burly 6-foot-10 senior also helped the Vols stay relevant for another day.

They're 12-6 overall, 2-2 in the SEC and are staying afloat while coach Bruce Pearl serves his eight-game suspension to start league play. He'll be making a guest appearance of sorts on Saturday when Tennessee travels to face No. 8 UConn, but then head back into hiding until a Feb. 8 trip to Kentucky.

Georgia dropped to 2-2 in the SEC, but at least has a couple of winnable home games on the horizon and can make up for the lost opportunity, hosting Mississippi State on Saturday and Florida next Tuesday.

Ryan Greene covers UNLV and the Mountain West Conference for the Las Vegas Sun.

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