Saturday, March 8, 2008

UCLA Steals The Game From Stanford, With A Little Help From The Refs

In the first replay since 1982, the NBA is allowing the Heat and the Hawks to play the final 51.9 seconds from December 19th over again. The Heat demanded the replay after Shaq was benched with a reported 6 fouls, even though he only had 5. The Hawks won the game thanks to their satiations error, but the replay idea reeks of stupidity since Shaq won’t play in this game either. Instead of a “replay” of the final 51.9 seconds of a previous game, this becomes, basically, a 52 second game between two different teams.
But I say, let them do whatever they want. In fact, more games should only be 52 seconds long, especially ones between Atlanta and Miami. Plus, the replay brings some interesting possibilities. As I wasn’t around in 1982, I’ve never really considered the idea of giving the end of a game another go because of a decisive mistake on the part of the officials, but now that I think about it, these things should happen more often. Case in point, Stanford vs. UCLA yesterday.
As UCLA guard Nick Collison drove through the lane with 3 seconds left in the 2nd, he got blocked by Stanford’s Lawrence Hill, sealing victory for the Cardinal’s who were up 63-61. Notice how I said that Collison got blocked by Hill. Blocked: When you reject a shot by stopping the ball on its way up, without making any contact with the shooter. That’s what happened. In fact, I encourage you to look for yourself:

Hill doesn’t touch Collison, who ended up going to the line, hitting both shots and sending the game to overtime where the Bruin’s won. This is a bad call anytime, but it becomes actually offensive when made at the last second in a game that goes a long way in deciding the PAC-10 Champion.
I didn’t actually see this game live, but I’ve heard that bad calls were abundant throughout. Regardless, deciding to dish out a make-up call on the classic, last-second, decisive play is pretty suspicious [insert Donaghy joke]. I used to think that the NCAA was free of favoritism, as long as UNC wasn’t playing anyway.


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