Pitt’s Nasir Robinson Feels Awful About Last-Second Foul Against Butler: “I knew what the score was….I wasn’t thinking.”
March 23, 2011 – 8:00 am by Steven Cuce
With the less than two seconds remaining in Saturday’s contest between the Southeast’s #1 seed Pittsburgh Panthers and the #8 seed Butler Bulldogs, both teams had a legitimate shot at winning and advancing on to the Sweet 16. A bizarre sequence of events then unfolded. Butler’s Shelvin Mack committed what seemed to be an enormously dumb foul on Gilbert Brown at mid-court with 1.4 second remaining. Brown hit the first free throw to tie the game with the second shot poised to help push the Panthers by the pesky Bulldogs. On the second attempt the unthinkable happened. Brown missed the free throw and Butler’s Matt Howard came up with the board, but as he snagged it, the whistle blew. Less than a second showed on the clock. The foul by Pittsburgh’s Nasir Robinson may be one of the most baffling plays in NCAA tournament history because it was inexplicably unnecessary given the moment of the game. It’s easy to forget these guys are essentially just kids and prone to mistakes like the rest of us. I would like to think you chalk it up to a player being aggressive and fighting for a rebound.
The referees of this game should be commended for calling these back-to-back fouls regardless of the game situation. We often see referees get gun shy in the big spot given the circumstances, but by all accounts both foul calls were spot on. It was a bone headed play for Nasir Robinson that he’ll have to live with unfortunately as Howard sunk the first free throw and intentionally missed the second one, so time would expire before Pittsburgh could get a shot off. Butler ran away with a 71-70 upset victory over top-seeded Pittsburgh.
Sports fans often remember the goat of the game more than the hero as Robinson’s name will be forever remembered in Pittsburgh sports history. We must give credit to the young man for owning up to his aggressive mistake. He has a great attitude towards the whole situation and looks to bounce back next year with even more motivation.
Nasir Robinson joined 93.7 the Fan in Pittsburgh with Seibel, Starkey and Miller to discuss how many times he’s replayed the costly mistake in his mind since Pitt’s devastating loss on Saturday, whether he purposely committed the foul because he had forgotten that the game was tied, if Charles Barkley has reached out to him since then, how would he describe the team’s season in spite of the early exit from the tournament, how he has been received back on campus, what he takes away from the humbling experience, and how he approaches to use the loss to Butler as motivation for him next season.
Over the last three days how many times have you replayed that rebound attempt?
“I watched the game, I watched it once, only because I watched it once. After that one time I watched it I just couldn’t watch it anymore.”
Some people were inferring that maybe on that second foul shot maybe you momentarily forgot in that split second that the game was tied and you thought you had to foul?
“No, that’s not the case. I knew how much time was on the clock. I knew what the score was. I just went after the rebound. It was a reaction. I wasn’t thinking. It was just a reaction of me just playing hard. I tried to make a play.”
Did Charles Barkley reach out to you and what did he say?
“Yeah I talked to Charles Barkley. He basically told me it was a tough situation I was in, move on, and keep my head up. He did not want me to dwell on that play, move on, and try to use that play as motivation.”
Given the #1 seed and the expectations how would you describe this season for the Pittsburgh Panthers?
“This season was good for us. We went to Ireland this summer. We played some good games over there. We played against other talent. We got the whole out of country experience. I think it was good. We won some big games. We won the Big East regular season and we came up short in the tournament, but I think this was a good year for us.”
What has it been like since you got back to campus? How have you been received?
“It’s been good. It’s been regular. People look at me saying like that’s me. I think it’s been good. Nobody has gotten out of line or done anything different. It’s been good.”
What do you take away from a loss like this to Butler?
“Just motivation. Motivation. It was the year for us to do it. We came up short. As a team we just need to get back in the gym. We’ll be preparing for next season to make it good.”
Is this going to be motivation for you next year? Are you responsible for the loss in the final game against Butler?
“My coaches and my teammates say I’m not responsible for the loss because of that one play does not reflect on the whole game. There were more plays not just that one play. Nah, I’m just going into the regular season and just work hard and like I said use that play as motivation.”
Listen to Nasir Robinson on 93.7 the Fan here
Tags: 93.7 The Fan, Nasir Robinson, Pittsburgh Panthers lose to the Butler Bulldogs in 2011 NCAA tournament, Seibel, Starkey and Miller
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