Notre Dame lost to Xavier in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Friday 67-63, and they lost on a questionable call by the refs. Guard Eric Atkins was at the free throw line for a one-and-one with 2.8 seconds and his team down 65-63. He made the first free throw, but it was waved off because the referee called a lane violation. Yup, the same lane violation that cost UNC Asheville against Syracuse on Thursday.
Guard Jerian Grant went from the backcourt and crossed the three-point line before the ball hit the rim, triggering the call. Instead of Atkins shooting for the tie, Xavier took the ball out, got fouled, and made two free throws to win it 67-63.
Even though the call is by the book, it’s not something that’s called during the regular season therefore it’s not something that should be called in the final 3 seconds with a game on the line. If you really want to go by the book, then the referees should be calling travels, carrying, and offensive or defensive fouls every other play. Some things you have to let go to keep the flow of the game, and this certainly was one of them.
Below is another look at the lane violation in slow-motion: