Not that we needed any more proof that Championship Week is one of the most fun weeks of the year, but Thursday gave us a big helping. You might even say a double-order's worth.
(Well, okay, only one of the events would have drawn a "Onions!" exclamation from Bill Raftery. But the other was even more surreal.)
Let's take matters in chronological order.
We start at the Big Ten tournament, with Gus Johnson at the microphone for the Big Ten network. Though Johnson has been out of the college basketball spotlight of late, he was thrust right back into it at the end of a first-round game between Illinois and Minnesota. Illini guard Brandon Paul does the honors:
Just a few minutes after Paul's heroics, Chris Mooney's Richmond Spiders served up a big helping of goat.
Mooney, as many of you know, is a product of Archbishop Ryan and Princeton. His team, however, apparently does not have quite that same level of basketball know-how.
Richmond had a 63-61 lead over Charlotte with 4.7 seconds to go in the opening game of the Atlantic 10 tournament. As the Spiders weren't yet in the double-bonus, Mooney told his team to foul off an inbounds pass before Charlotte could attempt a three-pointer.
That happened... and then everything went haywire. On the first free throw, Richmond's Derrick Williams tried to box out Charlotte's Willie Clayton under the basket. There's nothing wrong with that in theory, even though the shot went in. It happens all the time.
But instead of the usual nudge, Williams rather strongly shoved Clayton to the floor. Williams was hit with a technical foul, giving the 49ers two more free throws on top of the one they still had.
Three made shots later, Charlotte inbounded the ball as part of the technical. 49ers guard Pierria Henry took the pass, and heaved it toward the basket from midcourt. He did so for no other reason than to kill the remaining few seconds. Again, there's nothing new there. Nor, per se, was there anything strange about the fact that Richmond's Greg Robbins fouled Henry in the act of shooting in order to stop the clock.
(I saw it happen in person to Penn's Miles Cartwright at Brown last weekend.)
But Mooney was convinced that it shouldn't have been a shooting foul. Or maybe he was so angry at his guys for blowing the lead that he needed to get some things out of his system. So Mooney went off on the refs. He got a technical foul, and another for continuing to let fly after he was told to stop.
Once all was finally said and done, Henry shot 10 free throws in the game's final five seconds. He made eight, and that was enough to give Charlotte a 68-63 win.
Here's video of the sequence.