February 11, 2008

Villanova Jobbed? Not So Much

At the end of the Villanova - Georgetown game tonight in DC, a questionable foul was called which led to game-winning free throws by the Hoyas. The relevant sequence is shown below.

ESPN would have you believe that the official should have "swallowed" his whistle for this one so the teams could decide it in overtime. I disagree. The Villanova player's decision to challenge Wallace's path up the court was poor. Even if there were two more seconds on the clock, Wallace could not have advanced the ball past half court or gotten off a good shot. The Wildcat clearly bumped Wallace, forcing him to carry the ball and almost knocking him out of bounds. He lost momentum and was, by definition, pushed. A foul is a foul, regardless of the time remaining on the clock, and we should be talking about the Villanova player's decision, not the ref's.

Rule 4, Section 29 of the NCAA Rules for College Basketball state "A personal foul...involves illegal contact with an opponent while the ball is live." Incidental contact is defined in part as "Contact that does not hinder the opponent from participating in normal offensive or defensive movements..." When the offensive player (Wallace) is forced to carry the ball and hop on one foot to avoid going out of bounds, I consider that to be contact hindering him from dribbling up the court.

The Wildcats should consider shooting over 20% in the second half or running a better offensive possession leading up to that point, and not bemoan one "bad" call. Many questionable calls are made over the course of the game, and this one should not be overly scrutinized and criticized just because it occurred as time expired.

If we want to talk about getting jobbed by the refs, let's talk about the clock snafu leading to the Lady Vols' victory over Rutgers. Now that's getting shafted.

No article about Villanova - Georgetown is complete without a mention of arguably the best college basketball game ever played. You know the one.

9 Responses:

Dewey Hammond said...

Tough loss for us 'Nova fans. Like the NC State game, which was also controversial for a similar ending.

Russell said...

Definitely. A win at G'Town would have been huge for the resume.

Brien said...

"A foul is a foul, regardless of the time remaining on the clock"

If games were consistently called this way, I'd agree with you. But the fact is, everyone knows that a foul on the last play of the game has to be pretty bad to actually get called.

"ben" said...

My initial reaction was WTF when the whistle blew. But the replay showed Wallace nearly going out of bounds. The only reason he didn't is because of his own balance and athleticism.

What if he had gone out of bounds? Would 'Nova get the ball? THAT would be a blown call.

I don't think Villanova should be rewarded because Wallace kept his balance, so I'm with Russ on this one.


1) Why did Wallace make the second free throw instead of intentionally miss it?

2) Why was Georgetown playing any defense at all on the last inbound, as I believe you cannot legally get off a shot with under .3 seconds left.

J-Red said...

0.2 is the official rule Ben. According to the NCAA, it is possible to volleyball tap the ball in with under 0.2. It would take a perfect pass, and usually they're talking about balls inbounded on your goal end of the floor, but it is technically possible to redirect a perfect baseball style pass in 0.2.

I agree the proper Nova strategy would have been to let him try the angled half-court shot instead of defending the player advancing up the floor. The proper G-Town strategy would have been to miss the second on purpose.

Russell said...

I was surprised he made the second one too.

World of Isaac said...

come on...what about the contact on the drive to the basket....there is as much there compared to the bump...

gimme a break

awful call

J-Red said...

I think it was the forced carry that forced the call Isaac. It was one of those situations where one or the other had to be called, and unfortunately for Nova, they called the contact.

"ben" said...

Okay, J-Red, even if the rule is .2 seconds, there was .1 second left on the clock with the foul. So even with Wallace making the second shot (still stupid) it was IMPOSSIBLE for Nova to win with a basket. I can't believe Georgetown was playing defense.

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