UNC-Asheville vs. Syracuse calls

USA Today analyzes them here.

I’ve just looked at the video.  The lane violation call is so bloody obvious that I don’t see how anybody could possibly complain about it.  Seriously.  If the NCAA rule is that a player can’t cross the 3-point line until the ball hits the rim, it’ s not at all close.  Not only does he cross way before the ball hits the rim, but he gets the rebound and would have had an easy put-back.  It’s right by the letter and it’s right by the spirit of the law.  And even if you don’t buy that (and why wouldn’t you?), the player closest to the hoop on the near side is in the lane early as well–even before the shot is released.  Right call–calm down, everyone.

The out-of-bounds call is more interesting because the official did something we all do.  He gave the ball to Syracuse rather than call the foul.  We’re taught to do that: “hey, Syracuse got the ball anyway, and there were no foul shots: no harm.”  Alas, not this time.  I’m willing to bend a close call to avoid shots on a close foul, but in this case two obvious wrongs (the big foul on the UNC-Asheville player and the out-of-bounds so obviously off Syracuse) did NOT make a right.  The net result of the play was not a huge deal, since it probably was ultimately to UNC-Asheville’s advantage and therefore had no real impact on the game.  However, the result on me is to make me less inclined to do the game-management ignore-the-foul-and-give-them-the-ball-out-of-bounds tactic when it doesn’t pass the eye test or the smell test.  Under the guise of “game management,” the call lost control of the game rather than gaining it.

Nonetheless, the reaction is crazily out of line here.  There was a subzero impact on the game, and I hope this annual feeding frenzy about officiating in the tournament dies down.

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About Paul Hamann
I am a basketball referee in Washington State, working mostly high school games.

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