There isn’t much of a question here. In the last week, UCLA has received a few generous calls at the end of games that helped them pull out miracle victories. Thursday night against Stanford, Darren Collison was blocked pretty cleanly attempting a game-tying shot. There was some body contact, but really, a foul didn’t need to be called. Saturday against Cal, Russell Westbrook swatted at Ryan Anderson and knocked the ball out of bounds, causing a turnover which gave the Bruins the ball. Not only did Westbrook commit a foul trying to pry the ball loose, but then Josh Shipp made an unbelievable shot from behind the backboard, over the glass, to win the game. According to the rules, if a ball crosses the backside of the backboard from any direction, it is considered out of bounds. That rule should have likely negated Shipp’s shot.
Though UCLA was definitely the beneficiary of several questionable calls at crucial moments — for whatever reason — there are still a few things that must be kept in mind. Most importantly, receiving the benefit of the doubt from the refs doesn’t win you a game all by itself; Darren Collison still had to sink a pair of clutch free throws, and UCLA still had to beat Stanford in overtime. Further, Josh Shipp had to make a circus shot and prove he can handle the pressure of making a last-second shot. Secondly, home cooking or not, everyone gets a chance in two weeks to prove they are the best team in the country. Same rules apply for everyone: win six games in a row, you’re the national champ. Simple as that.
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