Chronicling the incompetence…turning the page

I hope that after this entry we will be turning the page to bubble talk and hopefully NC State’s impending bid to the 2012 NCAA Basketball Tournament.

Before we do, I wanted to quickly consolidate some of the national and local media reviewing & discussing yesterday’s debacle in Atlanta so that we can go back to it in the future.

First, the following links are to some message board conversations:

* Of course, it all starts with the gross disrespect from Brian Dorsey that SFN reported yesterday in this entry.

* Brian Dorsey (Link)

* The two moving picture files in this thread is nice to see side by side. I think they are taken from this entry on Business Insider asking if NC State was robbed in the ACC Tournament?

* This thread discusses the awful mistake it was for the ACC officials to publicly show the appearance of impartiality by their boneheaded decision to pay homage to Karl Hess’ absence by taking ‘KH’ on their shoes.

Compared to everything else on the internet, the following video is the closest thing to what I would have put together if I had the talent (and time) because this video doesn’t focus on just the most obvious (and discussed) calls/no-calls on Leslie and Kendall Marshall…but it also tries to set up some of the other inconsistencies of the ’50/50′ block/charge that set the tone throughout the game.

Here is another one that focuses exclusively on the two ‘big calls’ that have garnered the most attention. It is in this one where the positioning of Brian Dorsey and his obvious eagerness to call Leslie for a charge becomes most obvious as there is NO WAY he can see through Leslie 15 feet away to see if the UNC player was set.

You know something is up when the News & Observer allows Caulton Tudor to write that ‘Inconsistent Officiating Hobbles Wolfpack’. Tudor is a master and maybe the best ACC writer at leading more educated readers to conclusions without having to say ‘too much’. Note how he specifically calls out Brian Dorsey’s inconsistency.

It was an important day for North Carolina, but it was more important for N.C. State and unfortunately, the first ACC Tournament semifinal game Saturday in Philips Arena got skewed by officiating.

That has to be a part of the record, simply because the fourth and fifth foul calls on Wolfpack forward C.J. Leslie were as pivotal in the outcome – Tar Heels 69, State 67 – as the jumpers, follows, fouls and turnovers.

When official Brian Dorsey irrationally read an offensive foul into a Leslie spin move with eight minutes, 35 seconds left, the game changed some. It then changed radically 32 seconds later when Dorsey whistled a fifth foul on Leslie, sending the standout sophomore to the bench with 22 points and seven rebounds in 29 minutes of playing time.

Had Leslie been allowed to play on, there’s a good chance State (22-12) would be playing in today’s championship game.

But it’s also a fact that State coach Mark Gottfried said miscommunication among coaches on the Pack bench resulted in him not being advised that Leslie had four fouls.

“I would have taken him out, if only for a minute or two, so that’s our responsibility,” Gottfried said.

In defense of the Pack coaches, Leslie could have not have been taken out of the game unless a timeout had been called instantly after his fourth foul. There wasn’t a clock stoppage between fouls four and five.

Since Leslie’s fourth foul didn’t result in a free-throw situation, Gottfried either would have had to call a timeout immediately, yell at the ref that a sub was on the way or would have had to have a sub at the table before the whistle. Had it been a defensive foul on Leslie, there would have been a second or two for more reaction time by State’s bench.

The overarching point on Dorsey’s calls has to go to consistency – the one aspect of officiating that coaches say they value most.

That fourth foul call on Leslie (offensive move) wasn’t interpreted the same way later when UNC’s Marshall hit the winning shot after a collision that left Alex Johnson on the floor.

Officials make mistakes and that’s fine. But if you’re an official charged with calling a State-Carolina game in the ACC Tournament, you at least need to be consistent.

[snip]

And it wasn’t like the opponent was Boston College or even Florida State for that matter. The Pack went at Carolina with the sort of effort that Jim Valvano would have applauded on what would have been his 66th birthday.

In the long run what we saw Saturday was a landmark afternoon in the State-Carolina series despite the officiating. After two easy Tar Heel wins in regular season, the Pack showed the sort of commitment that once made the rivalry among the best in the nation.

The two old enemies made the game memorable. For the first time in a long time, we can say that State is moving in UNC’s direction.

The Charlotte Observer has a slide show this morning called ‘calls and no calls’ that focuses only on CJ Leslie’s 3rd foul and the Kendall Marshall play at the end of the game. You read that correctly, the Charlotte Observer.

ESPN’s Eamonn Brennan joined Yahoo’s Dan Wiederer and many other national basketball bloggers lambasting the officiating in real time on Twitter. This link to Yahoo’s college basketball blog will represent some of the national media

If North Carolina State misses the NCAA tournament for the sixth straight season Sunday, the Wolfpack may remember a disputed non-call in Saturday’s ACC semifinal against North Carolina as the play that cost them a bid.

With the score tied at 67 apiece and 10 seconds to go, North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall appeared to lower his shoulder into Alex Johnson in an attempt to create space, knocking the NC State defender to the ground. Referees didn’t whistle a foul, so Marshall sank a wide-open bank shot in the paint, providing the final margin in the Tar Heels’ 69-67 victory.

That NC State coach Mark Gottfried and his team were so incensed about the non-call was a product of the implications of the game. Not only could the Wolfpack have advanced to the ACC title game and snapped a 12-game game losing streak to their hated rivals, they also could have essentially locked up an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

Because of the loss, however, North Carolina State (22-12, 9-7) will have an angst-ridden 24-hour wait until Sunday’s selection show.

An ACC quarterfinal win over Virginia and a regular season sweep of fellow bubble hopeful Miami may yet earn NC State an at-large bid, but the Wolfpack’s tournament resume is hardly unassailable. Their lone non-league win of note came over youthful Texas in November and they went 0-for-5 against the ACC’s power trio, North Carolina, Duke and Florida State.

Having a key call go against North Carolina State will surely inspire conspiracy theorists to note the public tiff between the school and the ACC over referee Karl Hess ejecting Wolfpack legends Chris Corchiani and Tom Gugliotta from a February game. Gottfried slammed both Hess and the league afterward, calling the ejections “weak” and “completely out of line 100 percent.”

“I’m disappointed quite frankly in the ACC because not only did he throw out two of North Carolina State’s greats, he threw out two of the ACC’s greats,” Gottfried said at a pep rally. “The league is supporting an official rather than supporting former great players. The former great players, in my opinion, were embarrassed and wronged when they shouldn’t have been.”

Tempting as it may be for NC State to put all the blame for Saturday’s loss on the call that went in favor of the Tar Heels, the reality is the Wolfpack made costly mistakes down the stretch that contributed to the loss.

C.J. Leslie, NC State’s leading scorer, fouled out with eight minutes to go in the game after getting two quick fouls in less than a minute. The Wolfpack stayed in it behind the play of Lorenzo Brown down the stretch, but costly turnovers by Johnson and Scott Wood on their last two possessions contributed to the loss.

Now that we’ve done national and regional media….let’s let a local media member have a say. (Link)

Journalistic integrity aside, sometimes you just have to call it as you see it. And, boy did we see it today.

Let’s be clear, things sometimes look different on television than they do in person. I’ve been very fortunate throughout the ACC Tournament to have a front row seat, on the court. I appreciate it, and truly try to enjoy every moment. This seat allows me a very up close view of the game in progress, and often times the same angle as the official along the baseline.

Sitting beside other media members, it also allows me the opportunity to compare thoughts on the game. Sometimes, I’ll make a comment and a fellow media member will tell me that I am flat out wrong. But, today we were all in agreement. NC State got jobbed.

The ACC is not going to admit it, the officials are not going to admit, and most media members won’t write it, but I will.

Now, I’m not going to say that the entire game was swayed toward North Carolina. I also understand that the Wolfpack put themselves in the position to lose the game, and if they had done things differently, they could have walked away with a win.

But, there were certainly spurts during the game that the officiating looked one sided, in the Tar Heels favor. Again, keep in mind that I’m a Tar Heel fan. Not a bandwagon jumper, a lifelong Tar Heel fan.
A couple of examples come to mind along press row. The first is during the 2nd half when NC State’s Lorenzo Brown was dribbling down the right side, Kendall Marshal came flying in from the left block to right block. The whistle blew, and to everyone’s surprise, the call went against Brown.

Later in the second half, similar plays by opposing teams resulted in opposing calls. As the Tar Heels drove the ball into the lane from the right side, a jumble of players occurred, UNC missed the shot and a
Wolfie was called for the foul. No, problem. But, on the very next play, the Wolfies dribbled into the paint from the left side, a jumble ensued and despite the body, and arm bashing, no call was made. It was obvious that things simply weren’t going to go NC State’s way.

Certainly, these are just two instances, and they don’t make a game either way. But without going through the game play by play, I can only offer an opinion of the game. And my opinion is that NC State got screwed.

A fellow broadcaster from Asheville, NC and admitted State fan said “I’m tired of playing 8 on 5. Any time you play North Carolina or Duke, the calls go the other way.”

When NC State Coach Mark Gottfried, was asked to comment on the officiating, he simply said “I can’t, they’ll fine me.” When he was asked if it was safe to say that official Brian Dorsey wouldn’t be receiving a Christmas card from the Gottfried family this year, Gottfried replied, sternly and glaringly, “I’m not answering that.”

During the press conference, a fellow media member noticed my excitement about the Tar Heel win, and asked if it bothered me that the Tar Heels won it that way. My answer to him was “No, that’s just the way it is. The Tar Heels get the call. Sometimes you are on the short end of the stick in life, and sometimes you are not.” The Tar Heels always seem to get the calls and that’s just the way it is.

So, let me say to the Wolfpack faithful, courtside it seemed obvious to me that your team got the short end of the stick. I don’t know if you would have won the game or not had it been any other way. But, I do know that you have a valid case. Make it, welcome in your highly ranked recruiting class next year and come back and give it another shot. But, remember this, you’re going to have to play even harder than the Tar Heels if you are going to win, because life just isn’t fair sometimes. You know it, and the Tar Heel nation knows it too.

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91 Responses to Chronicling the incompetence…turning the page

  1. BJD95 03/11/2012 at 11:12 AM #

    I hope Tyler Watkins enjoys his week in “re-education camp.” Assuming Swoffy and friends don’t just send a hit squad.

  2. Wufpacker 03/11/2012 at 11:21 AM #

    I wonder who will be sitting in his press row seats today?

  3. wufpup76 03/11/2012 at 11:22 AM #

    The cartel will not tolerate Watkins’ malfeasance.

  4. BJD95 03/11/2012 at 11:23 AM #

    Who is willing to document today’s atrocities? For I shall be watching the SEC and A-10 finals.

  5. WendellPackster 03/11/2012 at 11:25 AM #

    so, this Walmart tar hole, tyler whatever, knows it is biased, wrote about it, saying as much, and can walk away with his head held high knowing that in acc basketball anyway, cheaters do win. good article tyler, except for the smug last paragraph. that is exactly why we HATE you motherfuckers!!!

  6. BJD95 03/11/2012 at 11:28 AM #

    I also have absolutely no intention of turning the page. Not until we join a new conference where we will be allowed to compete fairly.

  7. WendellPackster 03/11/2012 at 11:28 AM #

    so this walmart tar hole, tyler whatever, knows it is biased, writes about it saying as much, and can walk away with his head held high. nice article tyler, except the smug last couple of paragraphs. that is exactly why we HATE your kind so much!!!! go noles!

  8. Tampa-Pack 03/11/2012 at 11:31 AM #

    I STILL can’t believe they didn’t call a foul on that last Duke 3pt/Hail Mary. I guess that would have been a little TOO obvious….

  9. TLeo 03/11/2012 at 11:35 AM #

    “But, remember this, you’re going to have to play even harder than the Tar Heels if you are going to win, because life just isn’t fair sometimes. You know it, and the Tar Heel nation knows it too.”

    I give him some credit for admitting the Pack got screwed by the officials and pointing out some of the biased calls. However, the last commet he made is a smug, arrogant admissision by a A-hole homer that the bias does exists and “you just have to take it” attitude. Screw him!

  10. GAWolf 03/11/2012 at 11:42 AM #

    TLeo, I think you missed that last point. He’s not telling us to forget it or take our place, he’s just saying that we will continue to get the short end of the stick fir the forseeable future and. Sensed to fight through it. It’s locker room material.

  11. wolfman1 03/11/2012 at 11:48 AM #

    Its gotten completely out of hand…10 teams out of 12 in the ACC need to speak with one voice to the league about the blue bias…fact is all 12 should go in together…even the two that have been the beneficiaries of the bias. Why?? It cheapens their records when what used to be subtle becomes blatant, and when what used to be infrequent becomes routine and expected. How many banners are in the rafters at Cameron and the Dean Dome that are tainted? Impartial observers…especially basketball fans from around the country distant from 15/501 can rightly ask “How long has this been going on?” A baseball parallel…think about how everybody cheered when Sosa and MacGwire broke Maris’ home run record? Now we all know they cheated. They will never see the Hall of Fame. Same thing with Barry Bonds.

  12. Tampa-Pack 03/11/2012 at 11:48 AM #

    Statefans Nation and their facts. Always getting in the way of a good story. :) On top of the coaches and the team, I’d like to thank the folks here as well. Supporting the team in the most important way right now. Exposing the officiating, etc. Go PACK!

  13. PackToTheFuture 03/11/2012 at 11:54 AM #

    Coach Gottfried has handled all of this crap exceptionally well, so much said with little said at all, unbelievable amount of class, it’s an absolute honor to have him in Raleigh, we’ve got a bright future in basketball regardless of the uphill battle ahead.

  14. Khan 03/11/2012 at 11:57 AM #

    The question I have is on the 2nd to last play…was the tarheel (I think it was Watts?) on the baseline when he threw the ball down the court, or was he legitimately in-bounds? It looked like he was on the baseline from the brief replay, but I couldn’t tell for sure. Anyone see?

  15. HPWolf 03/11/2012 at 12:02 PM #

    Its good that “The Carolina Way” is finally being exposed for the whole nation to see. Cheating and help from the officials is the only way carolina can achieve any success. While the injustice of yesterdays result hurts the outcome may prove more valuable over time. Yesterday on a national stage the bias of the ACC officials and the fallout on the national sports scene has shone not a light but a “Searchlight” on this problem.

    Two things: write letters demanding the resignation of swofford and we arent going anywhere. This is our ACC

    We will(with the help of Gott, Yow, and wolfpack nation)kick the damn door down. One day soon we will be the team the nation wants to see play. Keep the faith. GO pack!!!

  16. Wufpacker 03/11/2012 at 12:03 PM #

    @Kahn,
    Never saw a replay close enough or from a good angle. I think there’s a chance the ball hit baseline as well. A lot of folks thought that’s what the officials were reviewing for so long before the final play.

  17. TLeo 03/11/2012 at 12:05 PM #

    GAWolf, it just doesn’t come across that way to me. I guess you and I agree to disagree on this one, which is fine.

  18. wufpup76 03/11/2012 at 12:09 PM #

    The baseline play was too close to call. A good angle was never shown.

  19. 74wolf 03/11/2012 at 12:14 PM #

    With all the media attention on yesterday’s one-sided calls, you can bet today’s game will be squeaky clean.

    Hey, refs: You got your revenge. Are we even now?

  20. wilmwolf80 03/11/2012 at 12:19 PM #

    I have seen many comments by Heel fans and others complaining of NC State fans “whining” or “crying” about the officiating. Let me just say, complaining of the officiating is one thing, but having hard visual evidence, and having sports casters and writers across the country agreeing with the sentiment is another. That being said, lest we be seen as myopic in our criticisms, there are three errors made by the team that must be acknowledged.

    1. Calvin should have been sat after his fourth “foul”. He likely would have fouled out of the game anyway given how things went, but when a player, especially a good one, gets called for a foul like that, their first instinct is to run back on defense and try and make up for it. Calvin should not have even been involved in the play that was called for his fifth “foul”. He was trying to do too much, which he wouldn’t have been able to do from the bench.

    2. The turnover on the exchange between AJ and Brown was inexcusable. It doesn’t really matter whom was at fault, or why it happened. It just CAN’T happen at that point in the game. You cannot turn the ball over in open court while not being guarded, no excuses.

    3. The final play design was less than ideal. Given the personnel we had available, and the time on the clock, I would have much preferred some sort of give and go to Brown for a half court shot. He has shown the ability to knock those down in the past, and as well as he was playing I think he would have gotten off a decent shot. Richard Howell is many things, but a great leaper is not one of them. Being guarded by two long, more athletic defenders, he really had no shot at catching the ball cleanly. We do have a player on the team capable of making that play, but see #1.

    Now, those mistakes freely acknowledged, the officiating certainly cost us a chance to win the game. Notice the word selection there. I did not say that the officials lost the game for us, simply that they cost us a chance to win. You cannot call 42 fouls in 39 minutes, and then swallow the whistle in the last minute. We all know that the officiating is terrible in the ACC, all we have ever asked for is consistency, and the nation clearly saw that was not the case.

    I think that we as fans have to put aside our vitriol and anger, and really acknowledge the effort our boys had over the last two weeks. The physical and emotional growth in Calvin, for one, has been great to see. When he was sent to the bench after the fifth “foul”, I could read his lips imploring Lorenzo to “take this s**t over, take it over!”, which Zo did for several minutes and really kept us in the game. That type of emotional leader is something that we haven’t had since Hodge. If that emotional leader is also your best player, well then you can have something special.

  21. BJD95 03/11/2012 at 12:24 PM #

    I think this simply shows how exposing this BS to sunshine will accomplish nothing – everybody knows already, and nobody will do anything about it.

    We can either shut up and take our lumps in a fixed league, or start over somewhere else. Deciding to say accepts the fix, and makes us complicit in the charade. It’s really as simple as that.

  22. ADVENTUROO 03/11/2012 at 12:30 PM #

    Couple of thoughts,

    Brian Dorsey called ALL of our ACC Tourney games this year. The first one (where he had to pull his KH Sticker) was actually the most lenient. The UVA was pretty straight up. THEN there was the UNC game. Looked like he could not keep all that pent-up anger and the need for revenge inside and it bubbled out.

    As to his remark, or reported remarks. Coach G. has told many folks that he did not hear it. He was still miffed about the calls. He is a class act. Not sure what WE will do about it, if anything. We did fire a mighty shot at Hess.

    Finally, a bit of history. Many probably know this. Fred Barakat was the Supervisor of Officials starting in 1981. There is a great write-up on him on the ACC site. Jimmy V. talks about him in his Audio Book (Lifetime Contract) and is very complimentary. He helped V. find a job or two and they were friends. Coach K and Coach V. were two of the coaches that approached Commisioner Bob James and suggested that they needed a “coach” in the ACC Office and that Fred was available. He finally accepted the job. I THINK that Coach K. and Coach V. probably got a little slack from the officials because of that. Coach Smith got it because he was COACH SMITH.

    It seems like Coach Williams inherited the Dean Crown and Coach K. is still here. All the others are still second class citizens and Whats His Clough does NOT have the control (or managerial skills) that Fred had.

    Don’t know what the solution is, if there is one? Don’t know WHAT may or will be done about Hess and Dorsey. However, if you google Brian Dorsey Referee, the third and fourth hits take you to sites which call him out and are based on Adam Smith and Joe Ovies comments.

    SO, it is out there. Who knows. If we do NOT see EITHER of them next year, then perhaps the ACC has some stones….if we see them, then we had BETTER have a team that can win in a 5 on 6, 7 or 8 contest. We just MIGHT….

    GO PACK….GOOD JOB Coach G.

  23. Rick 03/11/2012 at 12:31 PM #

    “We can either shut up and take our lumps in a fixed league, or start over somewhere else.”

    The ACC is like a radioactive cockroach. It has grown so big and arrogant it is not afraid of the light that exposes its ugliness.

  24. ancsu87 03/11/2012 at 12:45 PM #

    Here is another national media article which was the lead on the Fox Sports NCAA BB page this Sunday 03.11 morning:

    http://msn.foxsports.com/collegebasketball/story/engel-north-carolina-tar-heels-advance-to-acc-final-with-no-favors-in-conference-tourney-setup-031012

    “ACC tournament officials basically abstained in the game-deciding final moments, an odd disappearance since until then officiating had been a PTPer in North Carolina’s 69-67 victory against State. The game-winning bucket by UNC’s Kendall Marshall was either a charge (my vote) or a block. Being neither was a ridiculous no-call.”

    “On a night when it’s almost impossible to feel sorry for North Carolina — the Heels got every call, walked away with a “lucky” W and will play for yet another ACC championship in less than 24 hours — I do. The Tar Heels are one the best teams in the country and cannot win in Atlanta.”

  25. ancsu87 03/11/2012 at 12:53 PM #

    Wilmwolf80 I will have to disagree about your first mistake. Unless Coach Gott was willing to takea TO he could not get CL out of the game. His 4th foul did not result in free-throws but just gave the ball to UNC. In that situation I doubt Gott would have called a TO but rather would have waited till the next stoppage of play. However 32 seconds later he called for his 5th foul. The best they could have done was to remind CL that he had 4 fouls. That mistake I would agree with. However the fact of the matter is that BD was almost 15-20 ft away when he called that 4th foul a charge. See CT write up in the N&O.

    By the way I grew up in Wilm but left … too damn many UNC-W alums posing as UNC fans …

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