The referees stole the show in the Illinois Fighting Illini's loss in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. In their 68-53 loss to the Houston Cougars, they were on the wrong side of one of the most ridiculous calls.

After a fast-break dunk, Illinois guard RJ Melendez hung on the rim for a second and immediately dropped down after his momentum carried him back. This was called a technical foul by referee Brian O'Connell. It was clear to everyone else that Melendez was just looking to keep himself from swinging into the seats.

Melendez, who said that he got no explanation for the call afterward, reacted to the play on Twitter. The Fighting Illini key backup called it “unbelievable” but said that he will be back.

Illinois head coach Brad Underwood couldn't believe the call and said that it killed the team's momentum. After the bucket, they got outscored 22-11 down the stretch. Underwood claims that O'Connell admitted that he shouldn't have called the foul.

Referees have been a touchy subject in this year's tournament after North Carolina's loss to Baylor, which featured plenty of questionable calls and almost more whistles than field goals. While March Madness can give us great stories, like Saint Peter's insane run to the Sweet 16, it also gives us maddening moments like this.

Illinois posted a 23-9 record and won the Big Ten Regular Season Championship this season. Melendez should have a bigger chance to contribute next season, as he averaged just 3.6 points per game this season and scored nine against Houston.