Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Topic Burner

Every week or so, Steve Peake and I are going to host an article called "Topic Burner", where we take a look at a controversy that is either surrounding a recent incident, or one that has been looming for quite some time.  These topics will either be chosen by us, or by you based on any comments that you leave.

This week, we will explore the controversy of the Official Review in NCAAB.  Is it helpful?  Should it continue to be available?  Is it effecting the momentum of the game and how?

As stated by Wikipedia;
"NCAA rules allow the officials to use instant replay to determine if a field goal is worth two or three points, who is to take a free throw, whether a fight occurred and who participated in a fight. The officials may also check if the shot was made before the expiration of the shot clock, but only when such a situation occurs at the end of a half or an overtime period. Such rules have also required the NCAA to write new rules stating that, when looking at instant replay video, the zeros on the clock, not the horn or red light, now determine the end of the game."
So far this year, there have been 2 times on nationally broadcasted television that come to mind where this has severely effected either 1) The momentum of the game, 2) a call that should have been made, but was either overturned or not called.  These 2 occurrences were the Arizona v. Colorado game winning buzzer shot, and the UK v. Vanderbilt Nerlens Noel shot clock violation.

Steve, please begin the discussion.


Steve: The job of the officials is to get the call right. If replay can assist referees in making the correct call then I am all for it. I believe there should be more replay implemented into college basketball, more specifically I believe every play should be review-able. When a ball goes off Team A late in the game and Team A is still rewarded the ball, Team B should be allowed to protest the call in some way. What I am tired of is officials going over to the scorers table and looking at the replay for 10 minutes. Just like in football there should be a replay official who can easily access the best angle and make the call in just a few minutes. One may say that "Human error is just part of the game." Okay well, should "human error" determine a Champion? If an official can see on a replay that on the play below the ball went off of Syracuse, UNC-Asheville would have had a chance at history, instead we are stuck wondering what could have been because this kind of play is considered "unreviewable."


Jake: I understand where you are coming from, but like most cases when we discuss something to do with sports I just don't agree.  The momentum of the game is important in basketball.  It helps underdogs overcome deficits that top teams have placed on them during any part of the game, and vice versa.  The momentum of the game stops when the officials go over to their little tv screen and decide if the call they originally made stands or not.  It doesn't make sense to mess with the rhythm of the game at crucial moments in the game.  I still, and will always, think that the problem lies with the officials.  They have people, who get paid, who's only job it is to call players who break a rule in the game, during moments when a review needs to be called, they ought to be able to pay attention enough to not have to go to the tv for clarification.  They should be able to use the eyes they were given and cognitive processes they have in order to make a correct call.  It shouldn't be this difficult for them considering it's their job.  If they can't manage it, then maybe it's something that involves adding one more official to the loop in some manner.

Take this for instance:
You're a shooting guard on Little Sisters of the Poor, and you are playing against the top dog of the nation, Confucius School of Wit.  You are down by 28 with 2:30 seconds left, and you go on a record breaking run and you are shooting three's out of no where and you suddenly break the lead to only 3 with :19 seconds left and you just hit a huge three.  No time can be called at this point because both teams have used all of theirs up, your team is achieving the unthinkable, and you can't be stopped.  But wait, a ref called an official review because they believe the shot clock didn't start appropriately on the last play.  Now it takes them a few minutes to figure out what precious seconds on the clock need to be refilled.  Who's to say that the momentum of the game wasn't just destroyed?  I hate seeing a close game, or even a miraculous come from behind run, stop so suddenly because a referee has decided that they want to play with the teams adrenaline.  Not only does it mess with Little Sisters, but it messes with Confucius.  

One area I can actually see an official review be useful, is for flagrant foul decisions.  Most likely in these cases, the game has stopped anyways because someone, or many someones, are on the floor writhing in pain.

Steve's Closing Statement: I agree that momentum in a game can be big and the officials can steal that away with needless reviews. Although, something that can effect the outcome of the game even more than momentum, is getting the call wrong. 

You can not say that just because the team has momentum that they WILL force a turnover but when an official misses the ball going off a players hand and rewards the wrong team the ball he has directly effected the outcome of the game in some way. 

The NCAA, however, does need to find a quicker way to analyze replay and still be accurate with the decisions they arrive to.

Jake's Closing Statement: I'm always up for a change that's for the better.  If they can find a way to keep the sanctity of momentum throughout the game consistent, I will jump on board.  However, they are a long way away from this happening, especially since they aren't taking any current actions to fix the problems.

They need to fix this problem or they will begin to lose interest from long time fans who hate to see the game turn in such a way.  Including me.

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