Before we get too far into this, I want to make one thing very, veryÂ clear: Notre Dame managed to blow that game all on their own before the calls in question. We went away from the offense that got us to a ten point lead, started jacking up ill-advised shots, missed free throws, and to top it all off had a bone-headed turnover towards the end of the game.
Obviously though, that isn’t the story most Irish fans are focusing on at this moment. The last minute of the game was marked by a lane violation and intentional foul that all but took the ball out of ND’s hands at the end. Before I get into my own opinions on the matter, a clarification on the rules.
First, the lane violation (Rule 9, Section 1, Art. 2-g):
Players not in a legal marked lane space shall remain behind the freethrowÂ line extended and behind the three-point field-goal line until the ballÂ strikes the ring, flange or backboard, or until the free throw ends.
The call was on Grant who did cross the plane of the free throw line before the free throw ended, which would be the point in time in which the ball entered the hoop.
As for the intentional (flagrant 1) foul, Rule 4, Section 29, Art.2-c says:
A flagrant 1 personal foul shall be a personalÂ foul that is deemed excessive in nature and/or unnecessary, but not basedÂ solely on the severity of the act. Examples include, but are not limited to:
1. Causing excessive contact with an opponent while playing the ball;
2. Contact that is not a legitimate attempt to play the ball or player,Â specifically designed to stop or keep the clock from starting;
3. Pushing or holding a player from behind to prevent a score;
4. Fouling a player clearly away from the ball who is not directlyÂ involved with the play, specifically designed to stop or keep the clockÂ from starting; and
5. Contact with a player making a throw-in.
6. Illegal contact with an elbow that occurs above the shoulders of anÂ opponent when the elbows are not swung excessively per 4-36.7.a.
In ND’s case, I’m assuming part 4 was what was used here as the player fouled didn’t yet have the ball.
In both cases though, I am shocked both calls were made. Yes, both calls can definitely be justified by the rulebook; however, refs have a habit, and rightfully so, to swallow their whistles at the end of the game so their call doesn’t decide it. To get a call at the end of a game, more often than not, it needs to be rather blatant.
The lane violation is particularly curious as I struggle to think of times in which this particular part of violation has been called in games, much less a tournament game with under a minute to go. Yet this is the second time I’ve seen it called in two different games at extremely crucial times. I can only assume there was some sort of rules meeting to crack down on this. I honestly have no otherÂ explanation.
The intentional foul is also rather odd as any foul at the end of the game could technically be whistled as intentional. Refs will give plenty of leeway to this rule when a team is trying to foul to extend the game, including fouls off the ball.
In particular this pisses me off as a Notre Dame fan because I remember a certain situation not to long ago in which a refs decided to not call a certain foul that was an obvious violation of the rules. Furthermore, the media, fans and pretty much everyone that wasn’t a ND fan repeatedly stated that such a call shouldn’t have been made as it would have put the refs center stage, calling something that you would rarely see in a game.
Now excuse me while I use St. Patrick’s Day to forget this new nightmare.
- Epilogue - January 3, 2022
- HLS Podcast Finale - January 2, 2022
- The Final Fiesta: Notre Dame vs Oklahoma State NCAA ’14 Sim - December 31, 2021
Bush Push never happened so it’s all ok
Yes and no. The loss disappeared from our record, but as policy, we don’t claim the victory.
I missed Charles Barkley’s rant — apparently he tore the official a new one.
That said, another winnable tournament game pissed away. There have been many times when I was screaming for Brey’s scalp; this is not one of them. This choke is all. On. The. Players. Three points up with a minute to go, and they completely fell apart.
This sports program has a systemic inability to perform under pressure.
Again the Irish find a new way to rip my heart out. This time on a rules violation I was not even aware existed. I’ve watched thousands of basketball games and have never seen a lane violation called on a player who wasn’t posted up on the lane. Is there a curse on this school’s athletics? It sure feels that way. I don’t know how many new wounds my heart can take….
Perhaps you didn’t see yesterday’s Syracuse game, where that exact same violation was called, to much controversy. Replays and discussion were all over ESPN’s TV and radio channels, their web site…
Apparently, Jerian Grant didn’t see it, either. Or if he did, it never occurred to him to think “gee, what a cheap call. Maybe they’ve told the refs to call it if they see it. I’d better be careful.” Instead, his bonehead play prevents Atkins from hitting two free throws to make up for HIS bonehead play.
And yes, it was a bonehead play because it gave an official an opportunity to make a cheap call. Which he took.
Believe me, son, you’re not the first to think of the possibility of a curse. Though the game was played in the South, I know of no Mambo whose powers extend that far from the Bayou. Thus, I don’t mean to belabour a point, but consider our opponent and the Dark Powers they work for — I hasten to remind you that their boss is affectionately called the Black Pope.
As for Mr. Tex’s comparison to USC, it is also valid, since the Trojans are agents and worshipers of the foul Prince of Lies himself.
On the bright side, please let the sweetness and light of St. Patrick’s Day drive the figurative snakes from your heart. But if you think there are real snakes in there, go to a doctor, not a pub.
How about when we were up 63-62, bringing the ball down the court WITH 35 SECONDS LEFT, and we decide to launch an idiotic > 1/2 court pass into the wing? What was the point of that? What possible advantage does it give you to push the ball up that fast in that situation? JUST RUN THE FREAKING CLOCK DOWN! You don’t even have to take a shot! You’re winning the game with 35 SECONDS LEFT! To me, that was worse than the lane violation, because it was entirely self-inflicted- we can’t blame a whistle-happy ref for that one.
I’m rarely inclined to give Mike Brey slack for his team’s predictable post season meltdowns. But I think it is fair to point out that the two biggest bonehead plays in this game were committed by two underclassmen–three if you include the questionable intentional foul by Connaughton. At the same time, Xavier’s senior leader and A10 player of the year was killing ND on the other end of the floor. ND fans shouldn’t continue to make excuses for Brey year after year after year, but this year’s flop was a bit more defensible given the inexperience of the guards on this team compared to the opposition.
You’re spot on, Tex. There is absolutely no excuse for giving up a goddamn 11-pt lead with 8 minutes to go in the game. If you dont put yourself in position that a shitty call goes against you, then none of the controversy exists. Once again, like in the BE tourney, ND gave up a sure win because they completely crapped their own pants.
On the call, I cant really criticize too much because Im not even a basketball fan, much less an official, but come ON! 2 seconds in the damn game and you call a ticky-tack nothing call that affected NOTHING??? I can see if the ball rimmed out and Grant rebounded and put the ball back to tie it up because of the lane violation, but the shot was a f***ing swish. As a football analogy, this is like calling holding on the right-side WR on a stretch run to the left that goes for a 40-yd gain. There is NO advantage and you should swallow the flag/whistle.
I don’t think there was anything questionable about the intentional foul at all. He grabbed the player’s jersey to hold him from cutting through the lane on the inbounds pass. There is tons of precedent for this call–in the tournament and beyond. Not only did Connaughton grab the jersey, he pulled on it enough to yank it out of his shorts. Easy call. Bad decision by an underclassman feeling the pressure of the game and the big stage.
That being said…they should never have been in that position. I don’t understand why, with ten minutes left to go, they suddenly decided to stop pounding the ball inside to Cooley and merely be happy with dribbling the ball around and draining the clock until there was five seconds left and then jacking up a three. Yeah, Grant hit some of those, but just watching the offense stand around while they milked the clock was the most disgusting part of what I saw. Move! Get open! You’re not in a fourth and fifth grade rec league! Ugh.
I think it falls in the same category as the Grant violation. Were there grounds for making that call? Yes. Did he need to call it? No. In that situation, it is obvious that ND would need to foul, as every team trailing with little time left in the game does. Was it intentional? Of course it was and everyone in the gym knew that, as are most late game fouls by a trailing team. Do you really want the refs to start deciding between legitimate late game fouls by a trailing team (of which there are almost none) and those where the acting was not quite as convincing? I think that’s a silly standard.
ND lost a game they should have won and they have only themselves to blame for it. But that doesn’t mean the refs should get a pass for their bad calls.
I can’t believe that no one has acknowledged Cooley’s injury as a primary factor in losing the 10 point lead. The big fella could hardly walk, let alone recover after helping on a ball screen or cut fast to the rim on a pick-and-roll. If there’s any indictment of Brey in the loss, it’s that his teams have zero legit depth. Knight just must not be ready to play when the game is on the line, because Cooley’s injury killed us more than any ref could have. We couldn’t run the offense that got us there, and we couldn’t defend the other end.
It doesn’t help our big man depth that Brog’s knees are shot. He had some flashes of confidence before his body fell apart. It also would have helped to have Abro, though it would be a small lineup on the floor with him in place of Cooley.
Generally speaking, I’m loathe to criticize Brey too much on his past classes because of the very obvious uptick in recruiting since the JACC was renovated. It suggests that there was really something to the refrain that recruits would see our facilities, think about what other coaches were telling them about how little ND cared about basketball, and run the other way.