Saturday, March 17, 2012

Notre Dame Lane Violation Proves Costly Against Xavier

Talk about déjà vu, not 24 hours after a lane violation against UNC-Asheville stunted a late-game upset attempt, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish have been burned by the same exact violation of this NCAA basketball rule.

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.
Both calls were correct, though this fact did nothing to quell the ire of...the...Irish. [editor's note: Come on, really???]

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 ends
Keep 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.


Anonymous said...

I don't know. On the one hand, that's obviously against the rules and is a violation, video will back you up when you call that.

On the other hand, how often is it called and especially in that situation? Though if we had robot referees, it would be a clearcut violation call to make. The question here really is, should officials have played to unfair advantages, as in what advantage did that rebounder gain from running in early on a MADE free throw???

Doesn't even look like the referee blew that play dead until the ball went in the basket.

Though notice how Notre Dame's coach doesn't argue. He knew his kids screwed up, and so did they. When it's so obvious, it seems like everyone except the fans and announcers know the rule, though I think the CBS analyst was wearing an earpiece and whoever was on the other end told him it was the right call as he was wondering what happened. Why not just put the SMART people on TV in the first place and avoid those awkward first seconds of broadcasters not knowing what's going on.

Anonymous said...

FYI, referees for the Xavier Musketeers vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish game were Mike Stuart, Gregory Nixon and Lamont Simpson. Mike Stuart was the referee who made the lane violation call against Notre Dame at the end.

Cricket said...

I referee all levels of basketball, from high school to youth recreation league games...and that ND idiot looked like a 7 year old running around. And then the moronic jersey grab rather than a simple hold or block.

Basically, if you want to learn how NOT to play the last 3 seconds of a basketball game, watch this game. Excellent officiating. I'll have to review, but I believe the same official made both calls - and I like his emphasis on the free throw violation by pointing directly at the player and indicating he entered inside the 3-pt line too early.

Anonymous said...

"two tough calls, but two correct calls.". The announcers got it right.

Anonymous said...

A referee's call(s) decided the game. Is that what it's about? Isn't the old adage "A referee does his job if he's not noticed". Mike Stuart (who made both calls) obviously made himself noticed.

Cricket, as an experienced referee, are you saying discretion and judgement calls never come into play?(particularly in crucial, game-deciding situations). Did Mike Stuart consistently call every ticky-tak hand check throughout the game (not in my estimation) or did he occasionally pull players aside and tell them to watch the hand-checking?

If Stuart did occasionally use discretion and make judgement calls throughout the game (as a good ref does), then why would he inject himself so boldly into the outcome at the end? This is what cannot be defended.

Anonymous said...

If I'm Xavier and that doesn't get called, I'm going to be upset. ND wasn't upset it was called, players know THEY screwed up. That's one way to tell the call was accurate and correct.

THe whole thing about refs not getting noticed is BS. We have a huge block/charge crash play that can go either way. If that ref doesn't get noticed in that situation, no one will know what the call is...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: you're missing the point. A "huge block/charge crash play" demands a call. A referee can't hide from such a play. He either calls it a charge or a block or a "no-call" (and if it's a "no-call", then, as they say: not making a decision in that case is making a decision.)

In the ND-Xavier game, it was a violation. That's not up for argument. Not that it should have been called, but it was a violation.

However, the ref cannot make the call at the moment he did. What I mean by that is he blew the whistle after the shot was in and basically the players had stopped. There was no advantage gained by the violation...none..the kid made the shot. If he was going to wait to blow the whistle he should have used his discretion based on the outcome of the shot.

What a good ref would have done was gone to the kid and said: "Look, watch yourself getting into the lane early. Don't make me decide this game."

Also - This was not even close to the Syracuse game play. In that game the violator got the rebound. Here there was no rebound, no advantage gained.

I agree with Charles Barkley's assessment of the call: "Have some damn common sense"

Anonymous said...

So basically you're saying refs getting noticed for good calls is okay but getting noticed for bad calls is not okay.

Well, DUH!!!

BTW: Advantage = ND made the shot and would have been given one point. Yes, that's an advantage. Think: before the play, they had no point. After the play, they had one point. Ergo, advantage gained during a play in which a violation occurred = call the violation. That's an academic logic approach to this situation.

Refs get fired for missing these calls. He would have been docked by an evaluator/observer for NOT making that call. Better late than never, that's what late whistles are: a chance for the guy to see the play and determine whether a violation or foul happened. Here, it clearly did.

You admit it yourself. Once he sees it's a violation, he HAS to call it. That's the rule.

Anonymous said...

One more thing (still 10:31pm here), if violations were reviewable by instant replay, this is something that would have been called as a result of that replay. It's all about getting the call right by rule. Instant replay -- by the very premise of what replay review is -- is all about "better late than never" in making a call.

Anonymous said...

If Clark Kellogg, I think he was the commentator, had explained the rule correctly at the time there might have been less controversy. He said the player could not break the 3-point line before the ball left the shooter's hand. The player clearly did not do that. However, that is the rule that applies to lane violations by those players line up in the lane position. The rule which applies in this situation, as quoted in the article, is that a player not in a lane position can not cross the applicable line before the ball hits the backboard or rim. I suspect the difference is to avoid a running start by these players. That said, the call was made instantly and was correct. The lane violation calls that drive me crazy are the ones where a player in the lane position steps over the line too early. Those happen all the time, they get called erratically. Either enforce the rule or don't.

Anonymous said...

It's funny, some fans hear the tale about the 3-pt player and shooter releasing the ball and think it's a bad call. Then, when you correct them and say that it's on rim, not on release, they say, "oh, well, that never gets called, so it's still a bad call."

Yeah yeah, break the rules and you expect to get away with it. I bet you don't foul, either—those must all be phantom calls, too. It's like Chuck Meriwether said, when players say "call strikes," what they really mean is "call strikes on everyone else but me."

Ride said...

How come the referee didnt call a lane violation the first 5 times that happened in the game?!? I am traditionally and Irish hater, and didn't have ND in my bracket, but I also can't stand injustice. The referee had discretion on the intentional foul call and he had numerous opportunities to call the lane violation throughout the game. He was inconsistent and tried to make a name for himself by harshly enforcing rules on the book. He should NEVER EVER ref a college or pro game again.

Anonymous said...

I personally think Stuart had a relative who had money on the game you do not make that call.. Not with under 10 seconds left. Cost a lot of people money in vegas. Not to mention he was the ref who should have been calling fouls against the thugs from Xavier down low killing Cooley all game.

Anonymous said...

The NCAA must have liked Stuart's lane violation call, because he worked yesterday during the Elite Eight.

Jeremy Dircks said...

Mike Stuart did not err on this call and obviously had a great enough performance during the tournament to get one of the ten coveted final four slots.

Anonymous said...

Wow, u can tell the rat lovers from the officials on this thread. Fans are typically one way streets and that is very obv here. Put on striped shirt and we will watch u screw it up

Anonymous said...

Rat lovers don't know rules. Great job mike stuart

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