It all seems so clear now, that fate was trying to send me a clue about the Cards' woes. What was fate saying? "The refs are dirty."
Friday evening before the game, I actually met the most notorious official in the recent history of basketball, Tim Donaghy. I didn't recognize him at first when he walked into the meeting room where my Toastmasters club holds their weekly sessions, but then I overheard him introduce himself to one of my clubmates.
"Hi. My name's Tim. I was an NBA official, and I just got out of jail for bedding on games."
Hot damn! I jumped out of my seat to go over and talk to him. He served 13 months, and he's getting ready to go on a speaking tour to promote the book he just wrote, Personal Foul. (I'll plug here for Toastmasters, an excellent tool for improving your public speaking abilities).
Apparently, he's sticking to the story that he never fixed a game. He only bet, and helped the mob place bets, based on his inside knowledge of the game. But he swears that he called every game fairly, regardless of his stake in the outcome. Right.
The reason he says he was so successful at picking games, and the bombshell that he reports in his book, is the fact that the refs bias their calls. Some have vendettas against certain players, and some "company men" will do what they can to get the right teams into the finals to boost the NBA's profits.
Think this can't happen in the college game, too? I know it can. I think I saw it happen Saturday (Cardinals vs Mountaineers coverage). Why would the refs be targeting the Cards? I can think of one reason. There are probably a few refs who feel that our Coach needs to get some karma for his past misdeeds.
It all makes since, right? I meet Tim Donaghy, and then the next day the Cards' get the worst screw job by refs we've ever seen. It's fate pointing us towards the answer. Dirty refs.