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College Basketball Player Ejected For Violent Play

UCLA basketball standout Sebastian Mack was ejected from a game against Utah on Sunday night, for what appeared to be an incredibly dirty and violent play.

The play came with just under 10 minutes remaining in the first half, when Mack — a freshman guard for UCLA, who is leading the team in scoring 13.5 points per game — was defending a Utah guard. Once Utah forward Branden Carlson approached half court so he could set a screen on Mack, Mack took clear note of Carlson's presence before striking Carlson in the face with with his forearm. 

Mack was eventually given a flagrant foul for the dirty strike, and was ejected from the game — which UCLA ultimately lost by a score of 70-69, once Carlson (who returned to the court after receiving Mack's strike) scored a game-winning putback with 0.2 seconds left on the clock. 

Therefore, while Mack made the first strike, it's Carlson got the last laugh. 

Given that Utah handed UCLA its second-worst loss in program history on January 11th, when they defeated them 90-44 in Salt Lake City, perhaps the Utes should have seen UCLA's aggression coming. 

After the game, UCLA guard Lazar Stefanovic claimed that being physical was part of his team's game plan leading into this rematch. 

"They beat us pretty badly the first time, so we came in, we knew we had to be tough," Stefanovic said via an ESPN report. "They are also a physical team, so it's nothing crazy. It happens every game that teams are physical. I don't know what happened to Sebastian, I didn't see exactly what happened, but that's what happens sometimes with physical teams."

Of course, there's a stark difference between playing physical and physically assaulting a player on the court. 

As for UCLA coach Mick Cronin, he claimed postgame that he hadn't seen a replay of the incident — but was more concerned with how Mack's absence effected his team's performance. 

"Too many bad fouls," Cronin said when asked why his team lost to Utah for a second time this season. "Egregiously unintelligent fouls."

We haven't heard whether Mack will be suspended by UCLA or the NCAA for his violent foul against Carlson. Considering Mack hasn't shown aggression like this in previous performances, perhaps we can chalk this one up to frustration boiling over in an immature way. 

Although another offense like this will certainly raise red flags. 

MORE: College Basketball Game Delayed for Absurd Reason