KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The last time I saw three Morgan State players, they were committing something close to vandalism late Thursday. They were ripping down the NCAA's name plate placed outside their lockerrom, after a one-and-done loss to second-seeded Oklahoma.
One of them said, "Rip that bitch down. F--- them (n-words)."
Nice souvenir. Bad guys.
You will read and see more about Morgan State in the next couple of days. His name is Ameer Ali and he is one of the bad guys.
The Morgan State redshirt freshman was ejected in the second half after throwing Oklahoma's Blake Griffin onto his back in the second half of OU's first-round victory. It amazed me that Griffin got up and walked away. If that would have been me, I would have come up swinging.
Ali was on the wrong side of the state. The NCAA wrestling championships are over in St. Louis this weekend.
It's the latest physical attack on Griffin who has endured a few this season. Amazingly, Sooners coach Jeff Capel kept Griffin in the game. A few minutes later, Griffin went to the bench and stretched out on the floor seemingly the victim of back spasms. Griffin later told me he hurt his tailbone when he Ali threw him.
If this scrub Ali costs Griffin any playing time, it's going to be on his conscience. I haven't seen anything that blatant since the last Wrestlemania. And that was scripted.
Here are some choice quotes from the participants:
Griffin: "I don't know why people keep doing it. I don't want them to get the best of me. I don't know what individual game they're trying to play with me. The best thing to do is just walk away."
Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel: "Those kind of things really upset me ... Maybe it was inadvertent. I hope it was. I didn't see it as it happened. I just saw him up in the air. It really upsets me because he gets hit like that throughout the whole the game and it's not called all the time ... It's just borderline ridiculous to be honest with you. For me it's scary and it pisses me off."
Ali: "It was nothing personal or intentional. I think it looked worse than what it was. It was a misunderstanding ... We just got locked up ... I'm not embarrassed. Whenver I'm in the game I'm in there to play hard."