Michigan-Syracuse ending marred by charging call

Michigan was on the verge of blowing a lead against Syracuse in the Final Four Saturday, but they benefited from controversial calls by the officials and held on to win 61-56.

The controversial call that stood out was a charging foul called on Brandon Triche with 19.2 seconds left in the game. Syracuse was down 58-56 at the time and Triche drove to the hole looking to tie the game. Just as Triche was elevating for a layup, Jordan Morgan appeared to shuffle into defensive position in front of him.

The referees called a charging foul on Triche, giving the ball to Michigan. Based on the NCAA’s charging vs. blocking rule, a blocking foul should have been called on Morgan.

Here is the applicable guideline from the NCAA Rules Committee:

Before the offensive player (with the ball) becomes airborne, the defender must have two feet on the floor, be facing the opponent and be stationary to draw a charge. Otherwise, it should be a blocking foul.

That wasn’t the only call to go in favor of Michigan in the final two minutes.

With Michigan up 53-49 and 1:40 left, a blocking foul was called on Michael Carter-Williams even though Tim Hardaway Jr. leaned his shoulder into the Orange guard:

Tim Hardaway Jr Michael Carter Williams

26 seconds later, Carter-Williams was called for his fifth foul for putting his shoulder down on Hardaway Jr. after passing the ball:

Tim Hardaway Jr. Michael Carter Williams foul

The foul gave Michigan the ball and a foul put Spike Albrecht on the free-throw line, but he missed his attempt.

Michigan also benefited from a lane violation called on Syracuse following a missed Mitch McGary free throw with 48.7 seconds left. The violation was legitimate, but it’s not often you see it called (possibly because it’s an uncommon occurrence). McGary missed the free throw anyhow.

The calls didn’t entirely go against Syracuse. Triche drove to the basket with 50.2 seconds left and scored a layup, and Trey Burke was called for a foul on the play, giving Triche a free throw which he missed to keep it a 3-point game.

You cannot entirely blame the referees for the outcome of the game, but they certainly helped Michigan with their calls on several key plays down the stretch. You can definitely credit them for the assist in this one.

GIF via College Spun

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  • SpinMax

    All I see is jealousy

  • http://www.facebook.com/wedge56 Wedge Harris

    Butthurt much?

  • jhgjgh

    michigan blows. this is the easiest tourney trip in history. now they have the refs helping them as well…

  • Chris Foley

    Officials handed it to Michigan. Three bad calls in the last few minutes all in their favor. Triche had avoided the defender and he hops left while Triche is airborne. Blocking fowl. Hardaway pushes off with his left arm and the defender falls down. Blocking foul called , HUH?

  • The Majestic

    uh refs aren’t the only people that are involved in the game. there are coaches and players too and guess what they make mistakes too. players miss shots and have turnovers and coaches make bad decisions too that also affect the game. it’s just not the refs who screw up. but when they do that’s all we ever hear about. Maybe you should write an article when someone misses a free throw in the first half of a game because that has about as much to do as a bad call that a ref makes.