Arizona Basketball

Refs didn’t cost Arizona Wildcats game at ASU but credibility questioned


Jahii Carson remains on the rim after a dunk with time showing on the clock (ESPN video capture)

Jahii Carson remains on the rim after a dunk with time showing on the clock (ESPN video capture)

The non-call on ASU’s Jahii Carson hanging on the rim Friday might not have affected the outcome against No. 2 Arizona, but it affects the credibility of the officials working the game.

Andy Katz of ESPN reported tonight that the Pac-12 acknowledged “the officials missed the call” and should have called a technical foul on Carson for hanging on the rim with seven-tenths of a second left.

Carson’s breakaway dunk after Jordan Bachynski’s blocked shot of a T.J. McConnell attempt gave the Sun Devils’ their 69-66 double-overtime advantage over No. 2 Arizona Friday night in Tempe.

A Pac-12 conference official told Katz that the officials who worked the game — Randy McCall, David Hall and Kevin Brill — admitted that a technical should have been called on that play. The Pac-12 representative told Katz that coordinator of officials Bobby Dibler requests a review of each game and the results of this report “came from standard operating procedure”.

The NCAA rulebook cites Section 4 Class B technical infractions article 1, letter F, which states “Grasping, either basket in an excessive, emphatic manner during the officials’ jurisdiction when the player is not, in the judgment of an official, trying to prevent an obvious injury to self or others” results in a technical foul.

The Wildcats, who made only 16 of 30 free-throw attempts in the game, would have taken two free throws with .07 seconds remaining. Arizona coach Sean Miller would have likely chosen Kaleb Tarczewski (78.3 percent free-throw shooter) or Nick Johnson (76.6 percent) to take the free throws.

Arizona still would have inbound the ball on the opposite end, which would have required a miracle shot (which Johnson almost made Friday night).

Tarczewski was whistled for a technical foul for hanging on the rim against Drexel in the Preseason NIT at Madison Square Garden in November. It is one of the most ambiguous rules in the NCAA for how the violation is enforced. Sometimes it’s called. Sometimes it’s not.

It didn’t cost Arizona the game this time. But in this day and age, when steps to avoid taunting are taken to the extreme, the credibility of the referees who did not call the technical is questionable.

Katz writes that the Pac-12 maintains the officials were correct in not assessing a technical to ASU for the students, staff and bench players for running on the court with five-tenths of a second remaining. In a statement, the Pac-12 said:

“Following the last made basketball by Arizona State in the second overtime, the officials stopped the game to refer to the monitor to accurately determine the proper amount of time that should be placed on the game clock. Therefore, with the game stopped, the fans and team followers who rushed the floor did not create a delay that interfered with play. The NCAA basketball playing rules state that when the delay does not interfere with play, it shall be ignored.” publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.


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