Referees call controversial jump ball at end of Louisville-Wichita State game

Louisville Wichita State tie upFinal Four referees took away what could have been an even more exciting finish to the Louisville-Wichita State game by calling a controversial jump ball (technically a held ball) with 6.3 seconds left.

Luke Hancock was fouled in the open court with Louisville up 70-68 with 8.8 seconds left. He made the first of two free throws and missed his second off the iron. The Shockers’ Ron Baker fought for the rebound, but Hancock got his hands on the ball for a brief moment. The referees called a held ball and, because of the college rules, possession was determined by the arrow. Since Wichita State got possession on the double-foul a few minutes earlier, this time it went to the Cardinals.

Louisville inbounded the ball up 71-68 with 6.3 seconds left. Russ Smith was fouled, made one of his free throws, and Louisville won the game 72-68.

Was it the right call? Here’s the NCAA’s definition of a held ball (via the NCAA rule book PDF link)

Section 37. Held Ball

Art. 1. A held ball occurs when an opponent places his or her hand(s):
a. So firmly on the ball that control cannot be obtained without undue
roughness; or
b. On the ball to prevent an airborne player from throwing the ball or
attempting a try and both players return to the playing court with
both hands on the ball or (men) the airborne player returns to the
playing court never losing control of the ball.

The referees made the call way too early in my opinion. It should not have been called and the Shockers should have been given a chance to tie the game.

Full video of the play is below:

GIF via SB Nation

Around The Web

  • http://www.facebook.com/kevin.strader.12 Kevin Strader

    Well, you are welcome to your opinion, which is just that, an opinion. You weren’t on the floor, you didn’t have a whistle in your mouth and you have the luxury of watching it 10 or 20 times before forming your opinion.
    Quoting from the rule :
    “A held ball occurs when an opponent places his or her hand(s):
    a. So firmly on the ball that control cannot be obtained without undue

    Well that is exactly what Luke Hancock did. He placed his hands firmly on the ball and the only way Baker could control the ball was to attempt to violently wrest it away from Luke. The rule doesn’t define how long the hands must be on the ball. Therefore, the interpretation of the officials was that he met the standard to call a held ball.
    If you continue to watch and take your premise as fact, which is that Luke didn’t have his hands firmly placed on the ball, then Mr. Baker would have been guilty of walking, technically known as a traveling violation, as he took three to four steps before attempting to pass the ball to his team mate. So, it was either a held ball (possession to Louisville) or a traveling violation (turnover, possession to Louisville). Either way the Cardinals have the ball. You can’t have it both ways, as you so conveniently didn’t mention that he would have been charged with a traveling violation if there was no held ball.
    Thanks for your opinion. I’m sure you have many of them and they are all worth about the same amount, which is nothing.

  • Bobby Slaughter

    I said it after Ware broke his leg and the big deal was made of it, Louisville will get the calls in the Final Four so that they have the best chance to win it all. So far I have been right. It’s a shame a coach who has done the things Pitino has done, like his “Table Affair”, to insult his family, City of Louisville, UL, State of KY and then the Admin. at UL praises him for all of this by giving him a raise and contract extension. A very nice way for young men to be coached by a SCUM BAG Coach.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kevin.strader.12 Kevin Strader

    Bobby Slaughter sounds like a UK fan who definitely has nothing to cheer about right now. I don’t condone some of the things he has done but he has paid for those transgressions. He has asked for our forgiveness (although not required to do so), but more importantly he has asked for and I guess recieved forgiveness from his family.
    I don’t think any of the seven final fours he has been associated with have been vacated like some other teams have. Go back and listen to what these young men have to say about their coach and their team and tell me he is not a good influence on them. People can change. He has. You haven’t.