Replays in college basketball aren’t playing well.
What a tremendous Final Four and national championship for Virginia, perhaps the most fortunate team to ever cut down the nets. And while nothing can take away the Cavaliers’ title, their good luck has re-stoked the argument over video replays.
One of the most controversial foul calls in college basketball history allowed Virginia to pull out the semifinals win over Auburn, Kyle Guy’s deep corner jumper that missed but also sent him to the line for three shots, all of which he made to edge the Tigers.
You can’t review fouls unless there is a possible flagrant one or flagrant two, and Guy still had to hit all three free throws to put his team over the top. But on the way to that fateful foul, teammate Ty Jerome committed an obvious double dribble when he lost the ball off his own leg into the backcourt, went to retrieve it and started dribbling again.
Such a critical no-call should be reviewable, even if the opposing coach has to use a challenge like the rule they just changed in the NFL. Had Jerome gone back and kept bouncing the ball, that would have been fine. But he picked it up started again. A clear violation in the heat of a game-changing play.
On Monday night, the officials agonized over the replay of a late out-of-bounds call ruled in favor of Texas Tech. A long review, watching the play in extra slow motion somehow gave the ball back to Virginia, when such over-rules are supposed to be only if there is indisputable evidence. That didn’t seem to be the case.
Not only are the replay calls inconsistent, they sometimes take forever as the refs review them at the scorer’s table. That drives announcers crazy like Jay Bilas, who says if it that much time is required to pick the play apart, stay with the call on the floor. Thank goodness most reviews are only allowable in the last two minutes of games, when the calls are most crucial. But the Bilas Rule should apply whenever the officials go to the monitors.
Stick with the original call unless it was obviously a missed call. Replays aren’t ruining the game; they just add another element to the talking points afterward that go down in history like asterisks alongside the results.
(featured image via Todd Melet)