Just as was the case during Asheville vs. Syracuse, the late game lane violation call during Xavier vs. Notre Dame was the Correct Call (CC). Combined with an intentional foul called against Notre Dame seconds later after a ND defender grabbed and yanked a Xavier player's jersey before and during an inbounds pass (another Correct Call (CC)), the 2.8 second mark of March Madness' second round Xavier-Notre Dame game was devastating for the Fighting Irish.
In the blink of an eye, Notre Dame squandered its chance to shoot bonus free throws and saw a workable 65-63 deficit turn into a 67-63 hole with Xavier in possession of the basketball.
Still, with Notre Dame's lane violation Friday and UNC-Asheville's violation on Thursday on very similar plays, we must wonder whether rules knowledge is really poor outside of the officiating community or whether nerves and the prospect of scoring a huge upset interfered with both teams' players from thinking rationally. At the very least, we know at least two referees were not deterred from making this very gutsy call at crucial moments in their respective ball games.
Regardless, here's NCAA Basketball Rule 9, Section 1, Article 2, Provision g.
Players not in a legal marked lane space shall remain behind the free- throw line extended and behind the three-point field-goal line until the ball strikes the ring, flange or backboard, or until the free throw endsKeep on calling those rules as written, folks. It is an official's job to enforce the rules, not to rewrite or ignore them. Well done by our March Madness officials these past two days in achieving that goal.