Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Referees and such...

By now you’ve probably heard there was some questionable officiating going on last night in the world of college basketball, but if you haven’t, there was some, and they both happened about 45 seconds apart. The first coming in the match up between Georgetown and Villanova, the other Helen Keller sighting coming in the Women’s B-ball game involving Tennessee and Rutgers. OK that wasn’t very nice but seriously, they were both god-awful calls that the refs definitely looked at after the game, and immediately became very embarrassed.
First Game
The game is tied with about 7 seconds on the clock and Scottie Reynolds is driving down the baseline when he gets caught up in the air, quickly looks for someone to pass it too, then just tosses it in the direction of about 3 Georgetown defenders. The Georgetown players and the Villanova players both grapple for the ball when Hoya guard Jonathan Wallace comes up with it with about 2 seconds on the clock. He makes a move toward the outside when he’s bumped, and I mean barely grazed by Corey Stokes. The man of the hour, Bob Donato then blows his whistle with 0.1 on the clock and calls Stokes for a push. Now I stick up for refs, I really honestly do, (mainly because I’m a Duke fan and I have to) but this call was bad. The game should have gone to overtime, been decided by the players then and there, then everybody goes home. But no, Donato said I’m a little tired, lets go home now. Well as you can guess, Wallace sinks both free throws, game over.
Now if I’m going to rip the refs I have to lay into both Scottie Reynolds and Corey Stokes. Reynolds should have never left his feet, that’s one of the first things your taught in basketball, to not leave your feet, unless of course you are shooting or have someone to pass the ball too. The second slap on the wrist coming to Stokes who for some reason had to contest Wallace, when all he should have done was let him shoot the 80 footer and taken his chances. Dumb dumb dumb. FYI Corey, foul a bad shooter next time, Wallace shoots 80% from the line.
Big East coordinator of officials Art Hyland has already come out and said that, “Official Bob Donato was within his right to whistle Villanova for a last-second foul, a call that ultimately decided Monday night's game in Georgetown's favor,” obviously folks, he’s just doing his job, which sometimes forces him to stick up for referees who make bad calls.
Second Game
That brings me to the next game, which to this point our blog has been all men’s ball, but I’m going to spice things up a bit and talk about the ladies. Tennessee edged Rutgers last night in a game that ended about 5 seconds after the other game, was decided at the foul line, and all happened with under 0.2 seconds to play. Weird right? Anyway this one wasn’t totally the refs fault because it almost looked as if the clock person messed up. Replays showed the game clock seemed to pause as the Tennessee player came down with the ball, was ripped down by a Rutgers player, then went on again, then stopped again at 0.2 as the refs blew the whistle. Whew, did you get all that. Not entirely all the refs on the courts fault, but either way someone not in Pink (Rutgers was wearing pink) and Orange decided this one. So as you can imagine, this one finished on the foul line, when again, it should have been finished in overtime. Not saying I would have watched the overtime, just that it should have gone to overtime. OK I might have flipped over once or twice last night, but so what, it was a rematch of the National Championship game.
While were talking about referees and foul calls, I have to bring something up. Anyone ever notice that when, a few years back, Duke had a large free throw to opponent free throw advantage, and all you heard every time a Duke player was fouled was how much the refs loved Duke and how much they love Coach K and this and that. Well, here is a statistic I haven’t seen ESPN, our world wide leader in sports bring up yet, UNC free throws 651, while Opponents free throws 368. This could be accredited in part to Psycho T but all in all a Nice Stat right? Like I always say, if you want to be a Duke fan, get ready for a war.

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