Turnovers … by Alan B. Gibson

Posted April 5, 2017 at 8:59 am

Roundball comes to an end

Despite really wanting to watch some rerun episodes of Salvage Dawgs on Monday night, I instead left the TV tuned in to the NCAA Men’s Championship basketball game between Gonzaga and North Carolina (spit).

So, in the end, we get to watch Roy Williams (spit) and his NC Tar Heels (spit again), claim success to their so called “redemption tour” and lay hands on the 2017 men’s championship trophy.

It would have been nice to watch the Zags, a small school with an enrollment of under 7,500 students in Spokane, Washington successfully play the role of underdog Bulldogs and sneak the trophy out of Williams’ grip.

Wasn’t to be. Not a bad game, but certainly not the best I’ve watched this season or even in the past few weeks, to say the least.

Gonzaga had problems finding the goal down low, gave up way too many second chance shots on the other end, couldn’t find a handle on rebounds and in short, just couldn’t put the clutch plays together when all was said and done.

Then there was the biggest factor in what made the game a stinker as far as championship games go.

The referees.

In college basketball, which is certainly a more physical game than its high school counterpart, and it should be, there is going to be some pushing and shoving and elbowing and gouging. Take my word for it – I’ve sat under the goal of several NCAA games making photos and it really is unbelievable just how much contact is normally allowed.

It’s makes for better action for both the players and the fans.

Technology is a wonderful thing, but in the game of basketball, and other games (more on that later), we’ve allowed it to be taken too far and it’s ruining the contests.

Super slow motion and literally dozens of angles to record every drop of sweat falling to the floor has allowed the networks to be able to point out every mistake a team of officials might have made on every single trip down the floor

It has caused the officials to become so sensitive to the fact that it could be pointed out just how many mistakes they have made, that they are not only calling too many fouls now, but they have become much too dependent on the review option where they go back, watch replays of a questionable foul, walk, shot verses the clock, etc.

Some of these reviews can last several minutes, then after a mid-court conference between the officials, they come back and make some sort of change in the original decision – after all, they can’t justify taking all of those steps and time, then simply say “oh, we were right the first time.”

The latest case in point regarding a change to a mistake, came late in Monday’s championship game when a review between the battle for possession between Gonzaga’s Karnowski and NC’s Meeks resulted in Karnowski being charged with a “never happened” flagrant 1 foul.

It was just wrong. Even by the letter of the flagrant 1 definition, it was just wrong.

So were most of the 44 – yes, count them, 44 – personal fouls the officiating team called Monday night. It was even – 22 each, but just way too many to make it a fun game to watch.

Let’s get back to making the game one played, and governed by-humans, and leave the TV watching to the fans.

Replay foul #2

Another replay foul occurred last week when officials with the LPGA strolled onto the course during the ANA Inspirational Tournament on Sunday, and announced to leader Lexi Thompson that she was being assessed a four-shot penalty over a incorrect move she had made the day before.

The day before?

Seems someone watching the tournament on TV notified the LPGA that an infraction had been seen, one missed by Thompson and the LPGA when it happened.

The mistake here was by the LPGA Rules Committee/Officials on hand for that tournament.

They watched Thompson pick up the ball and replace it live. They watched her recount her score after Saturday’s round and sign her scorecard. They accepted it as being correct.

Done deal, then and there.

Mistake on the Rules Committee was bigger than the mistake Thompson made.

On to the Master’s this week and no telling what the replay scenario will do to damage that event for us.

Let’s take it outside!