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Loyola Chicago is, improbably, moving on to the Elite Eight. The Ramblers outlasted Nevada in a thrilling Sweet 16 game on Thursday night after letting a 12-point second-half lead slip away. Marques Townes hit a 3-pointer with six seconds to go to put Loyola up four and all but seal the game.
But Caleb Martin answered with a 3 of his own with just under two seconds to play. Loyola still had to inbound the ball successfully to see out the game.
After a timeout, it did so, to Townes. But did Loyola’s hero travel immediately after he caught the ball?
Caroline and Townes knock knees and a travel probably should've been called. pic.twitter.com/KDAEU4WJ6q
— Troy Machir (@TroyMachir) March 23, 2018
Probably. The refs called Nevada’s Jordan Caroline for a foul. But before any contact occurred, Townes – surprised to see the onrushing Caroline as he turned to put the ball on the floor – appeared to take an extra step as he adjusted his feet to account for Caroline’s presence.
Nevada would have had just one second to inbound the ball and score before the buzzer sounded. A travel call on Townes likely wouldn’t have changed the result. But some Nevada fans will surely look back on it as a moment that denied their team one last chance.
Instead, Loyola inbounded the ball once more to clinch the victory. The issue for Nevada was that, after Martin’s 3-pointer, it was still three fouls away from putting Loyola in the bonus. Caroline’s on Townes was the second of the three. Nevada couldn’t get the third foul off before the clock hit 0.0.
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