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Bad Beats

   by Ben Burns - 03/24/2009

Have you ever suffered a bad beat in front of your mom?

It’s quite the test of self-control, especially when a freakin’ idiot like Marquette’s Lazar Hayward can’t execute a simple inbounds pass.

Mom’s reaction to Hayward’s costly blunder: “Ah, poor kid.â€쳌

Marquette backer’s reaction: Frustrated silence, followed by a muffled grumble, “Freakin’ idiot.â€쳌

A 2.5-point underdog to Missouri on Sunday, Marquette had clawed its way back from a 12-point second-half deficit. The Golden Eagles tied the score, 79-79, on a pair of Jerel McNeal free throws with 38.3 seconds remaining.

Missouri milked the clock on its ensuing possession, using a timeout midway through to set up a final play.

The Tigers ended with open drive for J.T. Tiller with 5.5 seconds left.

McNeal was forced to hammer Tiller, who came up holding his wrist.

Missouri coach Mike Anderson determined Tiller was too hurt to attempt the two free throws and legally inserted freshman Kim English off the bench.

English, a 68 percent free throw shooter, hit both attempts, putting the Tigers up two.

Bettors who had Marquette plus 2.5 were looking good.

The Golden Eagles would undoubtedly take the game’s last shot. Hit a 3-pointer or miss and it’s a winner for Marquette backers.

Worst-case scenario, the Eagles send it to overtime.

Scratch that. Worst cast scenario, Hayward hesitates on the inbounds pass and steps over the line with the ball in his hands, turning the ball over to Missouri.

Marquette was forced to foul, and Missouri’s Leo Lyons made two free throws to put the Tigers up four.

Marquette managed to get up one last desperation 3-pointer as time expired, which, for some reason, was heavily contested by a Missouri defender. It even appeared that there may have been contact, but no foul was called, adding to the frustration.

“I was trying to get it to Wes [Matthews] or Jerel down there,â€쳌 Hayward told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “I’ve got to be a lot smarter than that. I’m more intelligent than that. I just didn’t want to throw the ball away, and that’s why I kind of jerked.â€쳌

In the spirit of mom, Hayward is just a kid. Banging on him too much will undoubtedly bring bad karma down the road.

But he’s a freakin’ idiot.

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