Sean Miller

Refs blew call that cost Colorado win at Arizona, but not how you think


For the second time this week, the refs blew a call that could have cost a road team a basket in crunch time.

On Tuesday night, the crew working UConn’s visit to Marquette allowed the teams to start overtime going in the wrong direction. When a Shabazz Napier layup was goaltended by Jamil Wilson, they said that the call was an inadvertent whistle — you can’t goaltend on your own basket — when the NCAA rulebook clearly states that the basket should have counted.

The missed call in No. 3 Arizona’s 92-83 win over Colorado in overtime was much, much more important, however; a three-pointer that Sabatino Chen hit at the end of regulation with the score tied at 80 should have counted.

But it’s not for the reason you think.

First things first: here is the rule pertaining to a situation like this. It’s Rule 5, Section 7, Article 2a:

In games with a 10th-of-a-second game clock display and where an official courtside monitor is used, the reading of zeros on the game clock is to be used to determine whether a try for goal occurred before or after the expiration of time in any period. When the game clock is not visible, the officials shall verify the original call with the use of the red/LED light(s). When the red/LED light(s) are not visible, the sounding of the game-clock horn shall be utilized. When definitive information is unattainable with the use of the monitor, the original call stands.

Watch the video. Look at the two pictures embedded here. What do you think? Does Chen get the ball off before the clock above the back board (and not the one in the bottom-right hand corner) goes to triple-zeroes?

Take away any rooting bias you may have here. There’s no way to irrefutably determine whether or not that ball is not on his fingertips when the clock hits triple-zeroes. The image is just too blurry.

Let’s go to the last sentence of that rule, then: “When definitive information is unattainable with the use of the monitor, the original call stands.”

If you look at the bottom of the screen, there is one official that signals a made three. Here’s the screen-grab evidence, via our own Terrence Payne (here’s a look at a full-screen shot of the ref signalling the made three):


So a ref called the three good initially. The video review was inconclusive. They should have gone back to the original ruling. The basket should have been good and Colorado should have won the game. (For what it’s worth, Director of Officiating John Adams told Mike DeCourcy the refs got the call right. I’ll respectfully disagree.)

The worst part?

This wasn’t the only call blown by the officials in the final minutes of the game. Solomon Hill hit a huge three in Arizona’s comeback when he was put into the game on an illegal substitution. The refs missed a blatantly obvious intentional foul by Andre Roberson that cost Arizona’s Nick Johnson a layup. They called an atrocious foul on Mark Lyons when Spencer Dinwiddie fell over.

This was not the finest moment for the guys in stripes.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Colorado’s Tory Miller reprimanded by Pac-12 after biting opponent

Dusan Ristic, Tory Miller
AP Photo
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Colorado sophomore forward Tory Miller has been reprimanded by the Pac-12 and he also apologized for biting Air Force’s Hayden Graham earlier this week.

During Colorado’s win over Air Force on Wednesday, Miller was assessed a Flagrant 2 Dead Ball Technical Foul and ejected with 12:25 left in the second half after biting Graham during a loose ball.

In a release from the Pac-12, they announced reprimanding Miller, but he will not be suspended.

“All of our student-athletes must adhere to the Pac-12’s Standards of Conduct and Sportsman-ship,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in the release. “Regardless of Mr. Miller’s frustration and emotion, such behavior is unacceptable and he is being appropriately reprimanded.”

Miller also released his apology in the same release.

“I would like to apologize for my actions during the Air Force game. I would like to apologize to Hayden Graham, Air Force, my teammates and fans. It was a heat of the moment thing. I’m an emotional player, but I let my emotions get the best of me. I will use this as a learning experience and focus on helping my teammates and respecting my opponents for the rest of the season and beyond,” Miller said.

For Miller to not be suspended for this is good news for him and Colorado since he won’t miss any additional action, but did the Pac-12 make the right decision on this?


Michigan State’s Tum Tum Nairn battling foot injury

Lourawls Nairn Jr.
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Michigan State has climbed on the back of star senior wing Denzel Valentine early in the season but they’ll undoubtedly need more help as the season goes on if they want to sustain their current top-5 ranking. One of the keys to the Spartans could be the on-going health of sophomore point guard Lourawls ‘Tum Tum’ Nairn, who is battling a foot injury.

According to a report from Kyle Austin of, Nairn has been putting on a protective boot the last few months to help battle plantar fasciitis as the guard has been playing in practices and hasn’t had his minutes reduced in games.

The injury looked like it was hurting Nairn’s early-season play, but he’s been very good in two games at the Wooden Legacy in California this week, so it could be that he’s getting more used to playing through the pain of the injury.

If Nairn is healthy and capable of contributing, he’s a huge boost to Michigan State because he’s one of the fastest players in college basketball and an additional ball handler on the floor. Through six games so far this season, Nairn is averaging 5.3 points and 4.7 assists per game as he’s been one of the team’s best distributors.

Plantar fasciitis can be a tough injury to fight through, so we’ll have to see if this affects Nairn as the season goes along.