Few things in college basketball can overshadow a buzzer-beater, but an altercation involving punches thrown - and landed - is generally one of them.
Fists flew in college hoops for the second time in less than two weeks, this time during Monday night's contest between Arizona State and Southern Mississippi. With 12:14 remaining in the game, Golden Eagle senior forward Torye Pelham got things going by pushing ASU's Ruslan Pateev in the face after a made three-pointer. Pateev responded in the manner that television has taught him: by sucker-punching Pelham in the back of the head.
Pelham and Pateev were both ejected, as was Southern Miss reserve Ahyaro Phillips, who left the bench area during the altercation. It appeared that other Golden Eagle players left the bench, an automatic suspension by rule, but no other punishment was handed out.
Both Pelham and Pateev will be suspended for one additional game per NCAA rules, but in the wake of the Xavier/Cincinnati embarrassment, it'll be interesting to see whether or not any additional suspension will be levied. Sucker-punching is rarely a welcome trend (YouTube is the exception), and the fact that there have been two relatively high-profile instances of it occurring in such a short span of time has to be disconcerting for a lot of people in college basketball.
Southern Miss ultimately won the game, 64-61 on a buzzer-beater by Kentucky transfer Darnell Dodson.