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#pounditFriday, July 19, 2024

Merrimack band fools officials with fake shot clock countdown

Merrimack band shot clock violation

College basketball fans are known for trying to throw off opponents — usually the road team — by inaccurately counting down the shot clock late in a possession. Sometimes it works, but on Saturday, it worked in an unintended way in the Northeast Conference Tournament.

Unlike most conference tournaments, NEC tournament games are played at the higher seed’s home arena, giving Merrimack a significant advantage over Le Moyne in one of Saturday’s semifinal games. As is customary, the Merrimack band could be heard vocally counting down the shot clock during Le Moyne possessions when time was running down, but doing so a few seconds ahead of the actual clock to try to fool the opponent into rushing a shot.

On one first half possession, the move worked — sort of. The Le Moyne players weren’t fooled, but the officials were, and the whistle was blown for a shot clock violation with two seconds still remaining on the timer.

Inexplicably, the play was not reviewed, meaning the Merrimack crowd killed a Le Moyne possession by outright fooling an official. That works just as well, if not better, than getting the opponent to force up a bad shot prematurely.

The stakes are high in the NEC tournament. After all, the winner has a March Madness reputation to uphold.


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