Just when you think you’ve seen everything in sports, from a destroyed sneaker to a golfer going full ‘Tin Cup’ in his professional debut, something else pops up that makes your jaw hit the floor. That was the case Wednesday night at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Georgia.
While almost all of the attention in college basketball went to Duke-UNC and the Zion Williamson injury, a stuffed animal cost the Georgia Bulldogs a big SEC home win against the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
You read that correctly. A stuffed animal.
With less than a second left and the score tied 67-67, Mississippi State Bulldogs guard Quinndary Weatherspoon stepped to the free throw line to ice the game. He missed the first free throw, which in theory didn’t really matter all that much, except it cost the Georgia Bulldogs everything because a fan tossed a stuffed animal onto the court as Weatherspoon was shooting.
The entire last minute of the game was utter chaos, and this was the wild cherry on top. A huge 3-pointer by Tyree Crump tied the game and a last-second foul on Jordan Harris gave the Bulldogs a chance to steal the road victory. That was crazy enough.
But instead, the intense college basketball game was marred by controversy because some idiot decided it would be cool to throw a stuffed bulldog on the court.
Georgia coach Tom Crean was fuming, and rightfully so. Heck, even Mississippi State’s Ben Howland was upset. All of the pressure should have been on Weatherspoon to make his second free throw and avoid overtime, and now all anyone seems to care about is the flying object.
In the aftermath, UGA was hit with a technical foul. Weatherspoon hit the technical free throw and intentionally missed the next shot so Georgia wouldn’t have a last-second heave opportunity.
In a tie game, a fan throws a stuffed animal. It’s incredible and ridiculous all at the same time. What a way for the home team to lose, and what a crucial road win for Mississippi State to keep its NCAA Tournament hopes alive.