Referee From Tennessee-LSU Game Busted Posing With LSU Shirt on Twitter

The basketball game between Tennessee and LSU last Saturday had huge implications on both the national and Southeastern Conference (SEC) rankings. The game went to overtime, and then looked bound for a second overtime before Tennessee was called for a foul about 80 feet away from the basket and 0.6 seconds remaining on the clock.

LSU drained two free throws and won the game, 82-80, and now sits atop the conference in a three-way tie with Tennessee and Kentucky.

Anthony Jordan, the referee who called the foul on Tennessee's Grant Williams, has a Twitter photo from 2014 where he's in Spain posing with an LSU Tigers t-shirt.

On the post, while holding the gray shirt, Jordan wrote, "Strolling thru D-town Granada doing a lil site-seeing and look what I saw. To all my Bama's … Geaux Tigers…"

A press release issued by the SEC says Jordan told them it was a "light-hearted social media post" with no intention to show favoritism toward any SEC school. The league issued its statement Monday afternoon saying it's looking into the matter.

"Jordan has officiated at a high level in the SEC for 19 years, including 11 assignments in NCAA postseason tournaments," the statement read. "We do not find this social media post to be acceptable with our expectations and will proceed accordingly, while also acknowledging Mr. Jordan has a lengthy track record as a fair and impartial basketball official."

Though social media users pointed to several calls that seemed LSU-biased by Jordan, the final call led to the end of the game. After LSU tied the game, 80-80, Tennessee brought the ball downcourt and tried a game-winning shot. The miss fell into LSU freshman Ja'Vonte Smart's hands. Smart turned and collided with Williams, who was knocked on the floor, but got called for the foul. Smart hit the two shots to finish with a game-high 29 points.

The SEC has a strict policy that prevents its game officials from calling games for schools they attended, or schools that immediate family members attend or that employ a referee's family.

Tennessee, which had been ranked No. 1 in the country for a month before losing at Kentucky on Feb. 16, was ranked No. 5 when it visited the No. 13 Tigers last Saturday. Tennessee led LSU in just about every statistical category except free throws, where LSU shot 15 more times than the Volunteers. LSU was 24-of-31 from the free-throw line while Tennessee was 12-of-16.

Tennessee coach Rick Barnes told reporters Monday during his weekly press conference that he had already contacted the SEC office about "everything that has happened."

"They understand the situation," Barnes said. "They are as upset about it as we would be. The fact is, they will handle it. We have to get ready to play another game."

The Volunteers (24-3, 12-2 in SEC), which dropped to No. 7 in the Associated Press poll released Monday, will travel to face the University of Mississippi on Wednesday before hosting No. 4 Kentucky on Saturday in Knoxville.

Moving forward, Barnes said he still has confidence in the league's officials.

"I've got confidence in our officials in our league here," Barnes said. "Are they perfect? They're not. Are some better than others? They are. Can some handle different environments better than others? They absolutely can. But it's no different than players. I can say the same thing about players, and you can talk about coaches probably. The fact of the matter is we've got to keep our eyes focused on what we have to do as a team and how we can get better."

LSU, which remains at No. 13, has now beaten Kentucky and Tennessee in the only head-to-head matchups in the regular season. With the SEC Tournament approaching, every win matters because it affects tournament seedings.

Referee From Tennessee-LSU Game Busted Posing With LSU Shirt on Twitter | Sports