Throughout the UNC-Asheville vs. Syracuse contest, fans complained of several close calls they felt were gross misses. Let's go to the tape, it's time for a video analysis. The following three plays shall be discussed:
- Goaltend, Basket Interference or No-Call
- Lane Violation Against UNC-Asheville or No-Call
- Foul Against UNC-Asheville, Ball Awarded Out of Bounds to UNC-Asheville or Syracuse
Play One: Goaltend, Interference or No-Call; Disposition: Incorrect No Call (INC)
We have seen the great difficulty in calling the "off the glass" goal-tend call before, both at the college and at the NBA level.
In January, officials missed a goaltending call with less than 30 seconds to go during the West Virginia vs. Syracuse game.
This is a very difficult call to make, for it requires judgment as to when the ball first contacts the backboard.
However, goaltending is not the call we are after on this play. Because the Syracuse defender contacts the basketball while it is within the cylinder, the proper call here is basket interference. The main difference between interference and goaltending is that interference may be perpetrated by either offense or defense and the ball need not have been released on a shot attempt for interference to be called; basket interference can be called on a pass, for instance.
Upon further review from the optimal angle for this play (shown above), the officials missed this call.
Play Two: Lane Violation Against UNC-Asheville; Disposition: Correct Call (CC)
In college, any player who does not occupy a lane space must wait until a free throw attempt first strikes the backboard or ring before crossing his respective restrictive line.
In the case of Primm, because he was lined up outside the three-point arc, he was restricted from crossing that boundary until the ball first struck the backboard. This is a fairly simple call and was correctly enforced.
The NBA does not have this restriction; hence the confusion and incorrect assessments given by the broadcast crew. This call was correct.
Play Three: Syracuse vs. UNC-ASH Throw-In Out of Bounds; Disposition: Incorrect No Call (INC) by the book; Correct Call (CC) in practice
If the official rules incidental contact and no foul, the pass deflected off Syracuse Orange's player.
If the official rules significant contact, it appears the UNC-Asheville player would have been responsible, for he created the contact against an airborne player (not to be confused with an airborne shooter, who enjoys separate privileges).
When officials see this type of a play with a ball deflecting out of bounds, informal customs dictate to "pass" on the foul by awarding the basketball to the offended team out of bounds, or in this case, Syracuse.
However, the rules book does not support "passing" on fouls, so when Coordinator Adams joined the March Madness studio show on TruTV, he had no choice but to call this play exactly as prescribed by the rules: claiming that referee Corbett missed the call by awarding the ball out of bounds to the incorrect team.
In the end and strictly by rule, this play ends with a foul against UNC-Ashville or the ball being awarded out of bounds to UNC-Ashville—there is no comprise as is the case with "passing" on a foul. Because we don't know if Corbett would have called a foul or not nor if he was "passing," it is impossible to determine whether this is an Incorrect No Call (as would be the case if a foul should have been called) or an Incorrect Call (as would be the case if no foul should have been called).
Either way, this call is incorrect by rule, though it may be correct in practice.