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Auburn 65, Florida 62: Gators fall in SEC Tournament semifinal thanks to turnovers, no-call

A great game marred by a controversial finish? It must mean SEC refs were involved.

SEC Basketball Tournament - Semifinals Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Want to look at a weird box score? Auburn 65, Florida 62 has plenty for you.

Florida shot 62 percent from the floor and 43 percent from three — and lost.

Florida had as many missed shots — 14 — as Auburn had steals.

Florida had 19 turnovers, a season-high — and Auburn had just 17 total rebounds.

A day after drawing 24 fouls, Florida played in a game in which there were just 22 fouls total. And those fouls only translated to 17 free throws because two of them were on Florida shooters in the act of shooting threes.

Of course, this game won’t be remembered for all that weirdness. It will be remembered for its final bizarre moment: A dumb-founding blown call that preserved the Tigers’ win.

With just seconds left, Auburn’s Jared Harper missed the second of two free throws at the line, giving the Gators one last chance to take a game-tying shot. And Andrew Nembhard dribbled across halfcourt intent on trying one, only to get met by three Auburn defenders, very clearly fouled by two ... and get no reaction from the referees.

That is as obvious a blown call as basketball gets — so obvious, in fact, that the question is what kind of foul, reach-in or shooting, should have been called. With the benefit of slow-motion replay, it seems clear Nembhard was fouled both before and during the act of shooting — and the difference between getting two shots or three is substantial in a three-point game.

But the refs didn’t call one with all the sporting world’s eyes on them, and so another great game in what has been an excellent SEC Tournament is going to be remembered not for the athletes on the court but the people who make more than they do just to make calls.

The SEC needs to fix this.

And I’m tired of saying that.

Especially because I should have been able to write about that box score, or Florida getting 16 points from each of Kevarrius Hayes and Jalen Hudson, or Florida fighting to stay in this game despite its turnovers, or Auburn’s brilliant shooting from Harper and Bryce Brown (who combined to drain eight of 17 triples), or literally anything but the refs.

Instead, I’m writing about the refs.

Spare us from this fate, please.