Posted on: January 22, 2010 1:05 pm
Here's Friday's Dear Gary ...
Dear Gary: Did you see the end of the Louisville-Seton Hall game? The refs blew it!
I think they literally blew it.
As in blew an inadvertent whistle.
For those unfamiliar, Louisville's Jerry Smith hit a corner 3-pointer Thursday night to cut Seton Hall's lead to 79-77 with 0.7 seconds left. Keon Lawrence grabbed the ball to inbound it, and then he walked onto the court and into the lane, still holding the ball. Confused, he bounced the ball to official Tony Greene, who bounced it right back. Meantime, Rick Pitino was going bananas, wanting a violation. But no violation was called.
It was awkward, no doubt.
But I've watched the replay 30 times, and it seems that an inadvertent whistle was blown, which prompted the confusion. Click this link and see for yourself. And don't just watch Lawrence. Watch the Louisville players, too. What you'll hear is something that sounds like a whistle, then what you'll see is some of the Louisville players act as if play has been stopped for a timeout. That's why I believe an inadvertent whistle was actually blown, because the actions of the players suggest they thought play was stopped.
Still, there's got to be a better way to handle that.
Shouldn't the refs have stopped play and explained that an inadvertent whistle was blown?
Instead, they just let the whole thing go, which means they let Lawrence cross the baseline without calling a violation. That's why it's a controversy, because they didn't handle the inadvertent whistle correctly. But, to me, it seems like a blown whistle is what caused Lawrence to walk onto the court with the ball.