Shabazz Napier

Kevin Ollie said the referees did not cost UConn the game

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With UConn up three, Marquette guard Junior Cadougan drained a 30-footer at the buzzer to force overtime Tuesday night in Milwaukee. The Golden Eagles would go on to win 82-76 in the Big East opener.

Cadougan’s late-game heroics set up one of the most bizarre plays of the season. To start the extra frame, the referees had both teams lined up facing the wrong basket. UConn won the tip and scored 12 seconds the Huskies scored two points following a Marquette goaltending violation. It was then the referees realized the mistake, took two points off the board for the Huskies and awarded the ball to Marquette.

According to Don Amore of the Hartford Courant, UConn head coach Kevin Ollie isn’t using the referees’ mistake as an excuse for Tuesday’s loss.

“That play did not cost us the game,” Ollie told reporters following the game.

The bucket, which would have been awarded to Shabazz Napier, who tied a career high with 29 points, would have given UConn a 71-69 lead. After huddling together, the referees decided to remove the two points, which was the incorrect call according to the rules.

“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.”

Following the game, Kevin Duffy of the Connecticut Post posted a statement from Big East official Karl Hess.

“The players went in the wrong direction tonight. Because we allowed that to happen, the only thing that was wrong is there was a goaltend on the play. We should have scored the goaltend and given Connecticut two points for that.”

“You have no team control after that, because you have a shot, so now you go to the alternating possession arrow. Because there is no team control at that point and then Marquette gets the ball and you head them all in the right direction.”

Tuesday’s sequence only adds to UConn’s suffering during the last few months. The Huskies aren’t eligible for postseason play and seem to be stuck in a Big East that will look more like Conference USA when all said and done.

For Marquette, Tuesday’s game provided the Golden Eagles with a key victory to start conference play. After a blowout loss to Florida and a bad one to Green Bay, Marquette can score another big win against Georgetown on Saturday at home.

Terrence is also the lead writer at and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

Big South moving 2016 conference tournament

Cliff Ellis
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The Big South is moving its 2016 men’s basketball tournament out of Coastal Carolina and a new site will be figured out by November. According to a release from the conference the Big South is using a league bylaw that stipulates that members leaving with less than two years of notice are not eligible to host championships. Coastal Carolina announced this summer that it would be leaving for the Sun Belt as of July 2016, so the Big South wants to find a new location that benefits teams staying in the league.

The Big South men’s and women’s conference tournaments are now also going to be split into two unique events, with the men’s championships being held Thursday-Sunday, March 3-6. The women’s event comes the next week from March 10-13. Bids for both events will come into the league and a new location will be selected in the next few months.

It will be interesting to see if the site of the conference tournament is moved to a campus site or placed at a neutral venue. That type of thing could alter how the NCAA tournament autobid gets played out. With Coastal Carolina coming off of back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances, this obviously changes their approach to the postseason now that they have to leave their city.

Virginia Tech could redshirt sophomore guard

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Virginia Tech is trying to decide what to do with injury sophomore guard Ahmed Hill, who had surgery this summer to deal with a tear in his patella tendon in his left knee.

The 6-foot-5 Hill has still not been released to work out with the team, but he is about a week to 10 days ahead of schedule in his rehab. But the injury is still nagging enough that Hill might not be healthy enough to really contritbute this season. Head coach Buzz Williams is deciding soon whether he wants to redshirt Hill or not.

Hill started a team-high 30 games for the Hokies last season, averaging 8.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.

“I don’t have a decision on (Hill),” Williams said to reporters on Monday. “I will make the final decision. I’ll let (him) and his mom be a part of it, but I want to make a decision using the wisdom of doing this for a long period of time. If you let a kid make the decision, they always want to play.

“Right now, I don’t feel comfortable that I would want to play him. It’s just too early to be able to have much more of an answer than that.”

It’s still a rebuilding year for Virginia Tech, but they do get Maryland transfer Seth Allen, who is a talented guard who can score. The Hokies were hoping to have Hill and Allen as complimentary perimeter scorers, but now the plans might have to be altered. Williams went on to say that he would like to make a decision on Hill’s status by Halloween.