Mar 17 2012
From first look, I’m sure millions of people were M-F’ing the referees in tonight’s Notre Dame/Xavier game. Hell I was sitting there watching the game, and when I heard the whistle after Eric Atkins’ first of what was supposed to be two freethrows to tie the game, I yelled “NOT AGAIN?” (going back to last night’s NC-Asheville/Syracuse game) but after some research and just opening my eyes, I realized that is why these refs get PAID to be refs, and I degenerately fill out March Madness brackets and have a few beers on my couch watching.
Here is what went down:
The 10th seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish trailed the 7th seed Xavier Musketeers 65-63 with 2.8 seconds left, with Eric Atkins at the line shooting the first of two to tie the game.
Now watch Notre Dame’s #22 Jerian Grant, as he CLEARLY PASSES the three point line before the ball hits the rim, thereby getting whistled for a lane violation. Here is the rule as stated by the NCAA:
Rule 9, Section 1, Article 2, Part G
Players not in a legal marked lane space shall remain behind the freethrow
line extended and behind the three-point field-goal line until
the ball strikes the ring, flange or backboard, or until the free throw
Check out the picture if you are blind and can’t see Grant passing the three point line.
No question the ball hasn’t hit ANYTHING yet, and #22 is clearly passed the three point line, right? RIGHT. Now I was having an argument with a few of my boys on twitter and they brought up the point that this type of violation happens on just about every freethrow attempt, so why not call it all game? Okay decent point; IF that is proven.
I came back, saying that the type of lane violation called tonight DOES happen often but only late in games when team trailing, and is desperate for one last possession in elimination game, EXACTLY like tonight’s was. Had Atkins missed that first free throw and Xavier got the rebound, the game is over, as is the Irish’s season. OF COURSE any head coach would draw up a play for someone to get to the board in case the ball takes a weird bounce so you have a last second shot attempt. In most scenarios, a player who is positioned behind the three point line, rarely interferes with a rebound off a miss. It just doesn’t make sense. So unless you have game film of every game (hell I’d even take two games) of that happening, and not being called, I think that is a poor excuse.
I am not saying my buddy was wrong, I am just saying that in the NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL RULE BOOK, the rule is CLEARLY written, and a violation occurred on that free throw attempt. Now if you want to take it up with the NCAA and try to re-write the rules, more power to you. But tonight, the correct call was made.
Oh and for anyone who is saying, oh you damn #fatty, you probably had money on Xavier getting 1.5 points, or you had them in your bracket–you’re wrong. I actually had those damn Notre Dame white boys. I thought the good ole’ luck of the Irish on St.Patty’s day would come through. Obviously not. That’s okay, I think everyone in America’s bracket is as F’d up as Charlie Sheen after a New Years eve bender.