A No. 15 seed had never beaten a No. 2 seed in the history of the women’s NCAA tournament. The Troy Trojans almost made it happen on Monday in their opening round matchup against Texas A&M, but some questionable officiating helped push the Aggies to the victory.
The No. 15 Trojans had tied the score with under two minutes left when several controversial calls impacted the outcome. First, Troy’s Tyasia Moore appeared to score an and-one basket that was ruled as a charge by the refs. You be the judge.
On the next possession, Troy’s Alexus Dye was called for a questionable fifth foul with Texas A&M driving to the basket. Dye had fouled out with 26 points, 11 rebounds, and three steals.
Now down four points with five seconds left and their best player fouled out, Troy’s Janiah Sandifer was fouled on a three-point attempt. She made the first, missed the second, and made the third. Troy was down two.
After a timeout, Texas A&M appeared to commit an over-and-back turnover that would have given the ball back to Troy for last possession down two. Instead, the refs didn’t call the over-and-back, Troy fouled Aggies guard Destiny Pitts, and Pitts made both free throws to give her team an 84-80 win.
Did Pitts have control of the ball before she crossed the halfcourt line? It sure looks like it.
Troy’s coach was still salty about the missed over-and-back call after the game:
“If that was the correct call — if we would have gotten that call, I don’t think there’s any way we would have lost the game,” Troy coach Chanda Rigby says about the over and back call at the very end of the game there
— Emma Baccellieri (@emmabaccellieri) March 23, 2021
It was a remarkable performance for Troy in defeat. Despite shooting just 4-for-23 from three-point range, the Trojans were able to hang with the mighty Aggies by winning the rebound battle and making so many tough attempts from two-point range. The Trojans absolutely played well enough to win, they just didn’t get the luck they needed.
Texas A&M now advances to play No. 7 seed Iowa State in the round of 32.
No. 15 seeds fall to 0-107 all-time in the women’s NCAA tournament. Troy deserved a better fate.