Officiating Debacle at MSG
By: Mitch Light | 3/9/11, 5:40 PM EST
College basketball fans and media tend to overreact to poor officiating. But we need to face the facts: It’s a very difficult sport to referee. The game has become so physical — which is a product of the officiating, but that’s not the point here — and the players have become so big and strong. Virtually every game is littered with questionable calls — just ask the fans of the losing team.
My usual take is pretty simple: Stop complaining. One call doesn’t decide a game. But what transpired at Madison Square Garden on Thursday afternoon was a travesty. Rutgers fans have the right to complain. They got screwed.
First, there was the no-call on Mike Coburn’s shot in the lane with Rutgers down by a point and seven seconds on the clock. That, in my opinion, was indisputable. No doubt about it: He got fouled.
Then there was the missed over-the-back call after a missed St. John’s free throw. My take: Probably a foul but not blatant.
Then, there was the contact on the half court pass to Gil Burat on the final play (Rutgers down two with the ball). There might have been a foul on St. John’s, but I have no problem with the no-call.
There is, however, no disputing what happened next. The officiating crew simply has to be more aware of the situation. There’s no excuse for them not to call the travel on Justin Brownlee or realize that there was still time on the clock. And, a technical foul for launching the ball in the stands was probably warranted. See for yourself.
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