Thursday, March 22, 2007

Bad Call in Memphis/A&M Game?

I'm sure many Texas A&M fans will be up in arms over the call in the game this evening between the Aggies and the Memphis Tigers. With 3.1 seconds left - the Aggies were inbounding the ball from underneath the Memphis basket, and an errant pass was deflected out of bounds by a Memphis player. During the play, no time went off the clock. That sent the officials to the scorers table to review the play. During the timeout, Bill Raftery was actually praising the officials for the excellent game they had been calling up to that point. Me personally, I was doing the play-by-play over the phone to my buddy who was in the unfortunate situation of being in his car during these critical moments. As I'm watching the replay - I was telling him that it didn't appear that the ball had touched the sideline and therefore bounced in bounds before it then landed out of bounds. As far as I knew, the clock shouldn't stop until the ball actually lands out of bounds, not necessarily when it crosses the plane. The refs (even though it took them a while) finally made a decision and decided to take a full 1.1 seconds off the clock giving Texas A&M then only 2.0 seconds to get the ball in bounds and throw up a desperation half court heave. Was it the right call? I think so, although I think they could have made the clock read 2.9 seconds and still had the same result with none of the controversy. Both Raftery and play by play man Verne Lunquist were confused by the call, and describing the ball landing in bounds before going out of bounds wasn't brought up until Greg Gumble brought it up during the post game show. Seth Davis even thought it was questionable and would cause controversy. My opinion is that considering the clock operator thought it immediately went out of bounds, and to the naked eye it appeared that it immediately went out of bounds and even on replay, it was close, the refs should have just taken 2 or 3 tenths of a second off the clock. But you can't fault them for making an accurate call either.


twins15 said...

Yeah, I thought it was a good call... honestly, I'm not sure why it had everyone on TV so confused.

J.ust O.ver B.roke said...

But the clock isn't supposed to start on the bounce on the court, but rather when it touches a player. That's why you've seen some teams roll the ball up the court in the waning seconds of a game.

The clock should have started when it hit the Memphis player and then stopped when it went out of bounds - the bounce on the court is inconsequential.

AwfulOfficiating said...

j.o.b - first of all, thanks for the comment. I always enjoy reading them...

Now... as for the comment, according to replay, the ball hit a Memphis player, then bounced in bounds, then landed up and over somewhere above the scorers table. Therefore the bounce on the court is meaningful because it happened in bounds after it touched the Memphis player. I still say, although controversial, the right call was made.

However - A&M does have a legitimate reason to argue that the foul called under the basket with 3.1 seconds left was a bad call. Considering the circumstances, that should have been a no call. As Will at Deadspin mentioned the clock mismanagement took away from the Karma of the game (a GREAT game!) and Dan Shanoff even mentioned the bad call the refs made by calling the foul under the basket in the first place.

Mini Me said...

That was a foul on the put back. That was horrible clock work by the refs. What are they doing? Horrible.

Also, did you see Jeff Green's travel? What a joke, how is that not called?

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