clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2016 NCAA Tournament: NCAA officials admit officiating error in loss against Syracuse

Does it matter? In the grand scheme of things, probably not.

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA called Mark Few and informed him of a blown officiating call late in the game against the Syracuse Orange, the AP reported on Friday.

With just over a minute remaining and Syracuse pulling a full court press, the Zags were called for a 10-second violation in the backcourt, despite the fact the ball was touched on the otherside of the line. Josh Perkins attempted a pass to Kyle Dranginis, but the pass was deflected by a Syracuse player. At the time, Gonzaga led 60-59.

Whether or not that call would've made a difference doesn't really matter at this point. Gonzaga has five turnovers in the final six minutes of the game. If the Zags had scored at that point and made it either a three- or four-point game, that means maybe the Zags squeak out with a win.

But also maybe, the Zags fail to score. Syracuse also failed to score off that specific turnover. In reality, the Zags should never have been put in a place where a single call would mean so much. Syracuse went on a 15-3 run to end the game. That is why Gonzaga lost. The loss still stings. Does this make it sting less? Not really.

Blown calls are all part of basketball, and the refs tried their best to even the score at the end of the game anyway. With seconds ticking down and Trevor Cooney stealing the ball, officials called him out of bounds despite his sneaker being a healthy distance from the end line. What goes around comes around in life.

As for Mark Few, he told the AP it was "big" to admit the mistake, but then he stopped pontificating there.

"It shows you, there's so much luck and stuff involved," Few said. "There are all these factors, and people want to dive into this or that. But really, it's just an unfortunate deal. ... But I think it's probably good in our sport to say, 'Hey, we screwed up.' I didn't make all the perfect calls in that game, either."