SMU player whistled for critical goaltending: ‘It’s all my fault’

Yanick Moreira walks off the court shortly after the crucial goaltending call that cost SMU Thursday's game against UCLA.

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The gut-wrenching ending of Thursday’s NCAA tournament game between SMU and UCLA was hard enough to watch. Imagine being the guy who got called for the critical goaltending that ultimately cost sixth-seeded SMU the game.

That would be senior Yanick Moreira, who was only trying to get his hands on a seemingly errant shot from UCLA’s Bryce Alford with the Mustangs up 59-57 and only 13 seconds left on the clock. But Moreira’s hand converged on the ball very close to the rim, and officials ruled it goaltending, awarding three points to the 11th-seeded Bruins. SMU’s last ditch effort to score fell short, and UCLA won 60-59.

It was a colossal bummer for SMU — the shot did not appear likely to go in — and Moreira’s response in the aftermath was both classy and heartbreaking, according to those in the room. Check it out:

It’s hard to find much fault in Moreira’s actions on the play, which you can see here and judge for yourself. It was far from a bone-headed instinct and there is much debate over whether what he did actually should have been called goaltending.

Nevertheless, a classy response when anger could have easily taken over.