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One Player's Awful Mistake Causes Some Real March Madness For His Coach

If you play sports long enough, you’ll commit a mental error to remember.

Unfortunately for Kent State’s Julius Rollins, it happened on national TV Saturday, with his team this close to clinching an NCAA tournament bid. (Watch the video below.)

Kent State got a tip-in by Cli’Ron Hornbeak to move ahead 61-60 over Akron in the Mid-American Conference championship with six seconds to go.

But Rollins intentionally fouled Akron’s Greg Tribble in the backcourt to send him to the free throw line with 4.8 left ― prompting red-faced shock from Kent State coach Rob Senderoff.

Tribble sank both free throws, and Akron secured the 62-61 victory and an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

“What a great game, but what a horrible, tough way to lose,” Senderoff told The Associated Press afterward. “As I told the team, I should have called a timeout. I don’t blame Julius. There’s 100 plays in the game and that was just one of them.”

The coach tried to keep the deflating moment in perspective. “The sun will come up tomorrow,” he said. “It’ll be a little cloudy for me and my guys.”

CBS basketball analyst Seth Davis expressed sympathy for Rollins in a post on X, formerly Twitter, after the game.

“Sports are cruel sometimes,” he wrote.

If it’s any consolation to Kent State, Akron is seeded 14th in its region, and isn’t likely to beat No. 3-seeded Creighton in their first-round game of March Madness.

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