Tempers flared at Madison Square Garden in New York between two of the Big East basketball rivalries that were fighting to advance to the tournament’s quarterfinals.
Speaking of fighting, that’s almost what happened between St. John’s head coach Chris Mullin, Georgetown head coach John Thompson III and assistant coach Patrick Ewing Jr.
After a hard foul was called on Red Storm forward Amar Alibegovic when he stopped L.J. Peak driving to the hoop, Peak jumped up and got in his opponent’s face. That’s when things escalated and boiled over with Mullin charging toward the Georgetown bench, giving Thompson an earful of words we probably can’t print here.
Mullin who was born and raised in Brooklyn and played college ball for St. John’s in Queens, got the MSG jacked up during the incident.
Here’s a look at the incident on video:
While Alibegovic was called for a flagrant foul, Mullin and Ewing Jr. were hit with technicals.
Both Thompson and Mullin downplayed the incident after the game.
“Coaches were coaching hard. I think it’s just the heat of the battle. It’s just competition, man.” – Georgetown Coach Thompson
Mullin also attributed the incident to adrenaline and competitiveness.
“It was just really competitive juices flowing towards the end of the game there.” – St. John’s coach Mullin
Yeah, both coaches may have been downplaying the incident but social media blew it up.
BTW, St. John’s won the thriller 74-73 and it was Mullin’s first tournament win as a head coach.