Referees allow UConn to go to the wrong basket in overtime

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In a game that featured a furious rally in the final 10 seconds to force overtime, the only thing that anyone is going to be talking about after Marquette’s 82-76 win over UConn in the Big East opener for both teams is a mistake that cost UConn a bucket at the start of the extra period.

On the jump ball to start the overtime, the referees allowed the centers to face the wrong direction:


As a result, when UConn won the tip, the Huskies ran a set going towards Marquette’s basket. Ryan Boatright found Shabazz Napier on a back door cut, but his layup attempt was goaltended by Marquette’s Jamil Wilson.

That’s when the refs finally realized their mistake and appeared to make another.

The Golden Eagles were given the ball under their own basket. There has been no official statement yet (we will update when one comes down), but it appears that the refs ruled that since it’s not possible to goaltend on your own basket, it was an inadvertent whistle and a jump ball. This is confirmed by the fact that the Huskies not only won the tap but were awarded the next jump ball in overtime.

The flaw, however, is that based on the NCAA rulebook, that was “UConn’s basket” until the refs realize their mistake. From Rule 5, Section 1, Article 3:

When the official(s) permits a team to go in the wrong direction, and when the error is discovered all activity and time consumed shall count as though each team had gone in the proper direction. Play shall be resumed with each team going in the proper direction.

My interpretation of that rule is that the goaltend should have been awarded and UConn should have gotten the two points.

And while it was just one bucket with 4:48 left, it was a momentum changer that potentially changed the outcome of the game.

This about sums it up:

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Syracuse receives mixed news on sanctions appeals

Jim Boeheim
Associated Press
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Wednesday the NCAA made its ruling on two¬†appeals of sanctions made by Syracuse University, with the news being mixed for the men’s basketball program.

On the positive side the NCAA ruled that Syracuse will be docked two scholarships per season for the next four years, as opposed to the original ruling of three. As a result Jim Boeheim’s program only has to account for the loss of eight total scholarships, meaning that they’ll have 11 to fill in each of the next four seasons as opposed to ten.

One scholarship may not seem like a big deal, but in a sport where you only get 13 (when not dealing with sanctions) getting that grant-in-aid back really helps from a recruiting standpoint.

As for the negatives, they both concern Boeheim. Not only has there yet to be a ruling on Boeheim’s appeal of his nine-game suspension that goes into effect when ACC play begins in January (that appeal is being heard separately), but the appeal to reinstate the wins that were vacated as part of the sanctions was denied. As a result Boeheim officially has 868 wins instead of 969 (not counting today’s game against Charlotte).

And with Mike Hopkins set to take over as head coach in 2018, the denial means that college basketball will have to wait quite some time before anyone threatens to join Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski in the 1,000 wins club.

While not having the wins officially reinstated does hurt, getting a scholarship back for each of the next four seasons is a bigger deal when it comes to the long-term health of the Syracuse program. Also of great importance will be the ruling regarding Boeheim’s suspension, as a suspended coach is not allowed to have any contact with his players or coaching staff while serving the penalty.

And with the original ruling due to take up half of Syracuse’s league slate, not having Boeheim (or the chance to speak with him) is a big deal when it comes to this current team.

St. John’s forward Kassoum Yakwe cleared by NCAA

Chris Mullin
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer
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St. John’s forward Kassoum Yakwe has been cleared by the NCAA to play this season and will be eligible immediately, the school announced on Wednesday.

Yakwe is a 6-foot-8 forward that reclassified and enrolled at St. John’s this fall. He attended the same high school as Kansas forward Cheick Diallo, who was also cleared by the NCAA to play today.

St. John’s played in the Maui Invitational this week, and Yakwe did not take part. His first game with the Johnnies will be on Dec. 2nd against Fordham if the program plans to play his this season.

The question that must be asked, however, is whether or not he will suit up or simply redshirt. The Johnnies are in the midst of a serious rebuild and will be without their other elite recruit this season, Marcus Lovett. Lovett was ruled a partial qualifier. Would it make sense to burn a year of eligibility on what make amount to a wasted season, or will head coach Chris Mullin opt to save that year for down the road?