Officials incorrectly hand Arizona win over Lipscomb

I look so forward to the day that NC State can garner the kind of home court officiating advantage that can literally displace time and space.

Check out the following video of the ending of last night’s squeaker in Tucson, Arizona.

When I watched the video at live speed and then in slow motion it is almost impossible to tell if the ball had left Wise’s hand in time. I think I am built to innately want the ball to be heading for a last second basket so I tended to think he got it off.

THEN, the power of modern technology steps in.

Before you even wonder if the last second shot was released in time, go back to the beginning of the video and watch the clock fail to start when the Arizona player bobbles the rebound of the missed free throw that starts the play. The clock sits at 4.7 seconds for far too long after the Arizona rebounded initially touches the ball and taps it in the air and ultimately comes down with possession. So, anything after this point should be inconsequential. Unfortunately for Lipscomb…it is not.

If you watch the video around the 1:15 – 2:00 mark you start to see that the ball was actually in Wise’s hands when the buzzer sounded. You hear the announcers realize that the ball didn’t make it out in time; and then their hometown bias is introduced and they talk themselves out of the truth supposedly because “it depends on which angle you use”.

I guess they are right — if you use the side angle that makes it impossible to see, then you can lie to yourself and pretend he gets the ball out. If you use the back angle that makes it much more clear the answer is obvious. At one point the announcer tries to say that you can’t tell when the ball leaves his hand from the back angle. Hogwash.

The fact that this is actually a fantastic shot from a fundamental perspective makes it even more clear that the ball was still in Wise’s hand when the buzzer sounded. You can tell from the video that Wise has excellent follow-through and rotation on the shot which means that the ball stays in Wise’s hands for the maximum time it can because it has to roll off the extended tips of fingers at the very end of his shot. There is no way he can launch the shot like a shot-put without the ball rolling off the tips of his fingers well after the red light buzzes.

Something that you must recognize in college basketball is that nothing matters except the buzzer, that is represented by the red lights around the basket. The clock can most definitely read 0.00 before the buzzer sounds. That doesn’t matter. Only the buzzer/red light matters.

Take a look at the tape around the 2:35 mark. The announcers are so dumb and so ill-informed that they don’t realize that angle is perfect to view the shot because – despite their claim that no clock is in the shot – the buzzer can clearly be seen in the background of the other basket. The announcer definitively stakes his case while proclaiming “NOW” when the ball leaves Wise’s hand and, unfortunately for him, the red light in the back ground had already illuminated a couple of frames earlier.

Gotta love homers.

I took one of the following screen shots from the video and the second one was provided on the internet. The results are clear and cannot be argued. And, one can’t help but wonder how four or five officials (including scorer’s officials) can miss this with the power of technology.

2009.12.21_Arizona over Lipscomb

Another one from a better angle clearly shows the buzzer sounding while the ball is still in Wise’s right hand.


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26 Responses to Officials incorrectly hand Arizona win over Lipscomb

  1. Thinkpack17 12/22/2009 at 11:09 AM #

    The two angles really do look like two totally different plays. If I was the ref I would probably have ruled for the home team and got the hell out of there.

  2. StateFans 12/22/2009 at 11:12 AM #

    Angle from under the basket is clear.

    Angle from behind the basket is clear.

    Angle from the side is impossible to tell because of the contrast of items in the back ground.

    How can one decide to choose the unclear angle over two clear angles?

  3. Thinkpack17 12/22/2009 at 11:20 AM #

    Because in confrontations I get the snappies. I overturn the basket the crowd goes crazy, someone hits me with something and I go Ron Artest/Sprewell/Gary Busey.

  4. daniel 12/22/2009 at 11:41 AM #

    It looks like the two clocks are slightly off, the clock over the basket appears slightly ahead. Look around the 1:54 mark

  5. bradleyb123 12/22/2009 at 11:49 AM #

    I think they probably missed this call. Of course I’d like the refs to get it right and all, but I’m happy about a couple of things:

    (1) Arizona does not come into their next game (US!) having just lost at home to LIPSCOMB. They dodged a bullet. Had they lost, they might be more fired up to avenge that loss when they play us.

    (2) Another important fact — Arizona was a missed desperation three away from losing at home to LIPSCOMB.

    LIPSCOMB. On their home court.

    This makes me feel much better about our chances out there, considering Tracy Smith is riding the pine tomorrow night.

  6. Thinkpack17 12/22/2009 at 12:07 PM #

    Yeah but we nearly lost to ELON…ELON. And that was with our best player on the court. Lipscomb may make the tourny this year, Elon is awful.

    I take comfort in knowing Javi’s Hammy is probably getting better by the day and it seems that our freshmen play better away from home.

  7. Plz2BStateFan 12/22/2009 at 12:16 PM #

    There is a difference between the clocks from the side angle.

    The shot on the video feed has 2 tenths of a second more on the clock than the backboard shot clock.

    I assume the backboard clock is correct and therefor the correct call was made. No basket.

  8. wolfonthehill 12/22/2009 at 12:40 PM #

    The frame at the 1:07 mark is the one that makes it obvious… ball in hand, clock at zero.

    Our RPI’s higher because they won, so there’s that…

  9. Rick 12/22/2009 at 12:43 PM #

    IMO this is no worse than the Xavier Butler farce.
    Officiating seems to have gone down hill.

  10. bjk07b 12/22/2009 at 1:11 PM #

    As a Lipscomb alum, I want to thank you for posting this. Also, I’m glad two other posters pointed out what seem like obvious observations that I had made: the fact that you can see in the side angle that the tv clock is .1 to .2 behind the official clock on the backboard and the fact that with his release/follow through, there’s no question when looking at the front or back angles that the ball was still in his hand. And speaking of Xavier Butler, forget the shot. Look at the missed free throw and notice that the clock doesn’t start right away when the Arizona player bats the rebound in the air. The clock should have started a good 1/2 second sooner than it did, thus nullifying the shot.

  11. 61Packer 12/22/2009 at 1:11 PM #

    If the Pack plays tomorrow night like they did against Elon and Wake Forest, the officials won’t be a factor in the outcome, that’s for sure.

  12. Thinkpack17 12/22/2009 at 1:36 PM #

    bjk07b…We shall avenge you. Probably. I’m like 55% sure.

  13. StateFans 12/22/2009 at 2:09 PM #


    You are 100% correct. I have added your observations to this entry. Thanks for sharing.

    Please feel free to pass this along to all of your Lipscomb buddies.

  14. PoppaJohn 12/22/2009 at 2:11 PM #

    SFN – fantastic reporting, that’s why I keep coming back

    bjk07b – If we do hand out the beatdown they deserve (55% sure?? I’d say 5% sure), be comforted they’d be losing to the worst team in the ACC. Definately embarrassing.

  15. Wufpacker 12/22/2009 at 2:35 PM #

    StateFans Said:
    “How can one decide to choose the unclear angle over two clear angles?”

    Now, now…you certainly know the answer to that question. And I realize it was meant as a rhetorical question, but in all honesty it should not be rhetorical. The NCAA and the Commissioner of Officials SHOULD look at this and ask themselves that very question.

    But for a variety of reasons, they will not.

  16. RickJ 12/22/2009 at 3:38 PM #

    Arizona power forward and best inside player Jamelle Horne did not play against Lipscomb because of an injured foot. He may also miss our game.

  17. MrPlywood 12/22/2009 at 4:01 PM #

    It’s impossible to tell looking at this crap YouTube vid. It’s lo-res and lo frame rate. The back or front angles are prone to foreshortening, especially with the longer lens used to shoot from those points of view. Foreshortening “compresses” perspective, which would make the ball and hand appear closer than they actually were. It would be akin to trying to figure out if a football crossed the goal-line using a camera from the opposite goal-line. Instead, they use a camera perpendicular to the goal-line. So the ball may well have been out of his hand. The side angle would have been the one to use. The refs would have had a much clearer picture to look at, and I don’t think the contrast would have played a big part.

    IMHO, the non-starting clock issue is a much bigger part of the story.

  18. Wufpacker 12/22/2009 at 7:46 PM #

    ^ Agreed. Whether the ball was out of his hands or not is strictly a judgment call, even if using video replay to try and get the call correct. When to start the clock is also subjective (ie a judgement of when the ball actually touches his hand) but given the relatively long delay that is apparent even at full speed video replay makes it obvious that it was incorrect.

  19. CStanley 12/22/2009 at 8:01 PM #

    Nice video. I love how the play by play guy basically chooses to ignore the views from behind the goal, mainly because they…well…showed it was no good.

  20. BassPacker 12/22/2009 at 8:14 PM #

    “Yeah but we nearly lost to ELON…ELON. And that was with our best player on the court. Lipscomb may make the tourny this year, Elon is awful”

    Actually Elon spanked Lipscomb at Lipscomb before they played NCSU. If Elon is awful, what is Libscomb? Or better yet, what is Arizona?

  21. cc4ncspack 12/23/2009 at 12:32 AM #

    As a State fan, we have learned over the years to hope for the best, and expect the worst. It seems to be the trend ever since the days of Corch and Monroe.

  22. choppack1 12/23/2009 at 10:34 AM #

    Is this really that surprising?

  23. Rick 12/23/2009 at 10:35 AM #

    “the non-starting clock issue is a much bigger part of the story.”

    And since the precedent was set at the Butler/Xavier game the officials should have gone back and deleted that time from the clock.

    Thus another reason why the Butler decision was so awful.

  24. Thinkpack17 12/23/2009 at 11:04 AM #

    “Actually Elon spanked Lipscomb at Lipscomb before they played NCSU.”

    Did not know that…I stand corrected. That gives me a bit more comfort. I knew Elon only had 3 wins…could not imagine one of them just so happened to be Lipscomb. I just don’t know what we are going to do offensively. What is our game plan? Horner and Javi pick and pop? If there was ever a game to see some of our fast offense this is the one.

    I am very interested to see what we look like.

  25. bradleyb123 12/23/2009 at 11:51 AM #

    ^^^ “Yeah but we nearly lost to ELON… ELON. And that was with our best player on the court. Lipscomb may make the tourny this year, Elon is awful”

    I know, but I wasn’t talking about us. I know we’re struggling some nights, but I was talking about Arizona. It’s comforting to know they struggled (at home) with a team the likes of Lipscomb, and probably should have lost to them. That was my point. If they had beaten Lipscomb by 40, then I’d be more nervous than I already am about this game! :)

    I’m not discounting the fact that we struggled mightily with Elon. Just happy that Arizona struggled with Lipscomb, and that makes me think we have a chance out there. Well, Tracy is out, so maybe not. We’ll just have to see.


  1. Rush The Court » Blog Archive » ATB: 2,000 Nic Wises (or something like that)… - 01/31/2010

    U8Iuu0 I really like and appreciate your post. Cool.

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