Seldom do referees earn sincere applause at a sporting event, but Antonio Petty managed to win over the crowd at Rupp Arena on Thursday night.
When a bullet bounce pass from Georgia's Gerald Robinson hit Kentucky big man Anthony Davis' foot in the lane, the ensuing ricochet struck an unsuspecting Petty flush in the face. Petty theatrically tumbled backward and landed amid the Kentucky cheerleaders to the amusement of the crowd, which gave him a loud ovation once he staggered to his feet.
ESPN's Rece Davis had some fun with his call of the sequence, joking that a lot of coaches probably would like to be able to strike that kind of blow against a referee and noting Petty "went all Clint Dempsey on the people." The play has also earned plenty of airtime on SportsCenter Friday morning.
Don't feel too bad for Petty, however. If you're going to take a fall on national TV, there are much worse places to land than into a row of cheerleaders.