Vitale rips Nix for ‘immature action’ on Zeller
by Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports
Indiana took command of the Big Ten Conference race on Tuesday night with a 72-68 road win over Michigan State to break a tie in the league standings.
The Spartans’ Derrick Nix, who notoriously called Indiana players “overrated” last week, appeared to take a cheap shot below the belt against Indiana’s Cody Zeller near the end of the second half with two minutes remaining.
Referees stopped play after the incident and then deliberated to the scorer’s table to watch replays. No foul was called by the officials because they didn’t believe the replay revealed enough contact to even rule it a personal foul, let alone a flagrant. Coach Tom Izzo took Nix out of the game after the play.
Here’s a GIF of the play via our friends at Big Lead Sports:
While the officials determined Nix’s play to be inconclusive, Dick Vitale was angry with what he believed to be a dirty play and the ESPN analyst sounded off during the live broadcast.
“There’s no doubt about it. He catches him with the elbow,” Vitale said, while calling the game alongside former MSU player and NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson. “See that, Magic? There’s no place for that. No place for that in basketball. Play the game, play with good sportsmanship, play the game. Don’t ruin it because of some stupidity, and some immature action.”