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