NCAA Men's Final Four - Practice

NCAA releases look at possible new governance structure

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One of the buzzwords in collegiate athletics in recent months has been “autonomy,” with five conferences (ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC) looking to have greater control over how they operate on a daily basis when it comes to NCAA rules. With the feeling being that there are some issues that affect their member institutions more than those in smaller conferences, those five leagues have ideas of what they would like to do for themselves and the athletes who represent their schools (such as meeting the full cost of attendance).

How would a “new” NCAA look with those five conferences being granted autonomy? Friday morning the NCAA announced that it has moved closer to a new governance structure, which includes guidelines on what it would take for those conferences to be granted autonomy on a particular issue.

The steering committee increased the size of the Council to include two additional faculty athletics representatives. In the new model, the Council would be responsible for day-to-day operations of the division, assisted by a three-group substructure focused on academics, championships and legislation, respectively. Athletics directors would comprise the majority of the council, and two student-athletes will vote.

Autonomy saw some changes as well, including: a refinement of the list of items over which the five major conferences would have autonomy, codification of how items will move from shared governance to the autonomous area and definition of how the five major conferences will conduct business.

With regards to autonomy, the “Power Five” leagues would need 60% of votes (amongst their members) and a simple conference majority of support from three of the five leagues, or 51% of votes and a majority in four of the five leagues in order to be granted autonomy. One interesting note about autonomy is that the issue of transfers, which has gained attention in recent years, will not be included. That can change however, should the “Power Five” feel that after two years there hasn’t been “substantial change” with regards to the situation.

While the announcement provides a look into what the new governance structure could look like, there’s no guarantee that these changes will actually occur. These measures are now subject to a 60-day override period, meaning that if 75 schools request an override of these measures the board would then have to reconsider the changes. If 125 (or more) schools make that request, the changes are suspended until the board discusses the proposed changes.

Illinois State ends No. 21 Wichita State’s 12-game win streak

Fred VanVleet
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki
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Having won 12 straight games, No. 21 Wichita State entered the weekend one of the hottest teams in the country. And with a four-game lead atop the Missouri Valley standings, clinching the regular season title was more a matter of “when” as opposed to “if.” But none of that mattered Saturday night at Illinois State, as the Redbirds managed to hand the Shockers their first conference loss by the final score of 58-53.

In addition to the 12-game win streak, which was second to Stony Brook (15 straight wins), Wichita State also saw its 19-game win streak in Valley regular season games come to an end. Illinois State was the last Valley team to beat Wichita State, eliminating the Shockers in the Arch Madness semifinals last March, and they played with the confidence of a team that believed it could win.

And after a rough first half the Redbirds found a way to come back, erasing a 16-point second half deficit in the process.

Wichita State’s issue in the second half was the fact that they couldn’t make shots. The Shockers shot just 26.7 percent from the field and 1-for-14 from three in the second half, with Fred VanVleet going scoreless and Shaq Morris scoring just one point. And just two players, Ron Baker and Conner Frankamp, managed to make multiple field goals in the game’s final 20 minutes. Illinois State certainly deserves credit for that, as they took away the quality looks Wichita State was able to find in building its lead.

And on the other end of the floor Paris Lee took control of the game during Illinois State’s comeback, scoring 13 of his 19 points in the second half with Deontae Hawkins adding 11 second-half points. Illinois State was even worse from the field, finishing the game shooting just over 27 percent from the field. But they were able to attack the Wichita State defense and get to the foul line, outscoring the Shockers 22-9 from the charity stripe. And in a game in which neither team could get much going offensively, the ability to get points from the line proved to be the difference.

This defeat doesn’t help Wichita State, but did anything really change? Maybe the margin for error when it comes to an at-large bid gets a little smaller with the loss in the eyes of some. But when considering injuries to the likes of VanVleet and Anton Grady in non-conference play, those early season losses are understandable. Saturday was a rough night for Wichita State, but given the maturity and talent on at Gregg Marshall’s disposal the Shockers will be fine moving forward.

VIDEO: New Mexico loses game on blown call by officials

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Nothing like a nice, controversial finish to get the blood flowing.

New Mexico was on the receiving end of a rule misinterpretation on Saturday afternoon, and that interpretation likely cost the Lobos a win over San Diego State and, arguably, a shot at the MWC regular season title.

Here’s the situation: New Mexico is up by three with 12 seconds left and the ball under their own basket. Their allowed to run the baseline, so Craig Neal calls a play where the inbounder throws the ball to a player running out of bounds.

Totally league as long as the player establishes out of bounds before touching the ball. The referee rules that he doesn’t.

Here’s the video:

The problem?

According to the rules, Xavier Adams — the player receiving the pass from Cullen Neal — only needed one foot on the floor out of bounds in order to establish himself as an inbounder that was able to catch that ball. He got one foot down (see the picture above), but the referees appeared to rule that he needed to have both feet down.

That was incorrect, according to the Mountain West office.

“While this was a very close judgment call made at full speed, it has been determined after careful review of slow-motion video replays the call was in fact incorrect,” the league said in a release. “The New Mexico player did get one foot down (two feet are not required) out-of-bounds before receiving the ball, thus establishing his location in accordance NCAA Basketball Playing Rules 4.23.1.a and 7.1.1.  By rule, the officials were not permitted to go to the monitor during the game to review this play.”

And here’s the kicker: When SDSU got the ball back, they hit a three to send the game into overtime, where the Aztecs won. But if New Mexico had won this game, they’d be sitting at 8-2 in MWC play, one game behind SDSU in the loss column with a return game against them in The Pit.

Instead, they’re now three games back with seven to play, meaning that the race is effectively over.

It’s tough to blame the referees here — it was a bang-bang call that is only clear in slow-motion replay — but man, that’s a big call to miss.