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Chuck Landon: UCF has its trouble with tweets

Jan. 15, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

Tweet that, UCF.

After a Friday evening filled with insulting posts and photographs on Twitter authored by Golden Knight players, the sweet irony of Marshall's 65-64 win over UCF Saturday night was it all came down to a pair of tweets.

Fate getting even?

Perhaps.

All I know is the unmistakable tweet of an official's whistle with 14.5 seconds remaining and UCF clinging to a 65-64 lead, signaled a fifth foul on Knights' star Keith Clanton that sent Marshall's DeAndre Kane to the foul line.

He nailed both free throws despite his poor .591 foul-shooting percentage this season.

"No pressure, no pressure," insisted Kane after the game. "It was good all along."

That was the first of the ironic tweets.

The second?

Well, actually it was a non-tweet.

When UCF's Marcus Jordan drove hard to the basket for a shot with only 3.0 seconds remaining, the potential game-winner caromed off the rim but right into the waiting hands of teammate Josh Crittle. When the 6-foot-9 center tried to go up for an easy putback, Marshall's Damier Pitts -- who is a foot shorter -- stripped the ball.

Both teams, an entire media contingent and 8,379 fans at the Henderson Center held their collective breath waiting for a foul to be called.

But there was nary a tweet.

"I thought they were going to call a foul," said Kane, who finished with a game-high 16 points with seven rebounds. "I did. But they didn't and I was glad.

"They called fouls both ways that shouldn't have been called."

There were 40 personal fouls, two technical fouls and one flagrant foul, to be exact.

But when it mattered most, nobody tweeted.

And rightfully so, according to UCF coach Donnie Jones.

"We can't look for a foul," said the former Marshall coach, who was booed lustily during his second appearance in the Henderson Center as UCF's coach. "We can't look for a call. No excuses."

After the barrage of Twitter insults Friday night, that was sweet justice.

Particularly since the disparaging tweets from UCF players dealt with the City of Huntington and the state of West Virginia, in general, and the Plaza Pullman Hotel, specifically.

The best part of that classless display was Marshall's players didn't get involved, refusing to post rebuttals.

"We don't have anything do with the hotels or televisions," said Kane, who obviously was aware of the Twitter controversy. "We have good televisions. ... 32 inches."

Social media or no, chalk it up as yet another controversial occurrence in a Marshall-UCF series that seems to generate controversy at every turn.

Why, Marshall head coach Tom Herrion even got fouled Saturday night.

Anybody ever heard of a coach getting fouled?

Not me.

But that's what happened when UCF's Isaiah Sykes hit Herrion with an elbow while standing out of bounds near the Marshall bench with 4:11 remaining in the first half.

"It was an inadvertent elbow," said lead referee Rick Hartzell. "If it had been intentional, we would have tossed him out of the game."

Well, maybe.

There are eye witnesses who believe it was intentional.

One of them wasn't Kane, who was too busy having fun with his coach getting elbowed.

"Ohmigawd, he had a heart attack," said Kane of Herrion. "He's getting treatment right now. Ask him that when he comes in here (for his post-game press conference)."

All Herrion would say was "non-story, non-story."

He was right.

The story of this game was tweets.

And the lack thereof.

Chuck Landon is a columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Call him at 304-526-2827 or email him at clandon@herald-dispatch.com.

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