Replays show the referees missed a critical call in the North Carolina-Gonzaga game with less than a minute to play. With 49 seconds left, North Carolina’s Kennedy Meeks’ hand was out of bounds while he was touching the ball as this photo shows:
It should have resulted in Gonzaga being awarded the ball rather than the jump ball which was the call on the floor. North Carolina had the possession arrow and was awarded the ball with 49 seconds remaining. North Carolina was winning 66-65 at the time of the call. Isaiah Hicks ended up scoring for North Carolina to put them up by three points with 24 seconds remaining.
This is not to say Gonzaga would have won the game if the call was correctly officiated, but it would have changed Gonzaga’s strategy down the stretch. The Bulldogs could have taken the lead with a two-point basket rather than being down by three.
Gonzaga did end up taking a two-point shot which was cleanly blocked by the Tar Heels. The block led to the game-clinching dunk by North Carolina’s Justin Jackson.
Here’s a look at the replay of the jump ball call in question:
The referees were under scrutiny all night for what appeared to be a quick whistle throughout the second half. Four players had four fouls at the end of the game while Zach Collins fouled out for Gonzaga. The number of fouls caused the game to lack flow in the second half as neither team appeared to get in an offensive rhythm.
In the end it was North Carolina’s ability to handle the final two minutes better than Gonzaga that allowed the Tar Heels to be victorious. The amount of whistles did cause a less than pleasant viewing experience for fans.
Here’s a look at some of Twitter’s reaction:
Discuss on Facebook