For those who are still obsessed with the refereeing in the NCAA Tournament I have the following comments–
(1) The referees were hardly perfect. In the UNC game, for example, near the end Berry either walked or charged or both, but nothing was called.
(2) But although what they called mattered, the refs did not totally decide the game. I saw a star athlete speak years ago. She said refs make mistakes, but players do too, and merely whining about refs and not taking personal responsibility is for losers.
(2A) Speaking of which, if X number of calls are made against team A, and Y number of calls are made against team B, and X is a lot more than Y, it does not necessarily mean that the refs were biased against team A or calling a bad game. It could merely mean that team A fouled more. That can happen for a number of reasons, including one team playing more aggressive defense.
(3) So I therefore concentrate much more on how proud I was of the Hogs and how well they played than on any call the refs did or did not make
(4) Being a ref is tough. I have been one. In a game my kid played in. And even he whined about the calls I made. I have also played basketball. For 50 years.
(5) The idea that refs would intentionally want UNC or Duke or anyone else to win to satisfy the NCAA or TV or whatever is hogwash (no pun intended).
(6) By the way, I was in Greenville for the Friday Arkansas-Seton Hall game. I was yelling from the upper deck that the foul near the end was a flagrant foul. It was one. Textbook. I just did not know if the refs would have the guts to call it. I saw it again on TV, which confirmed my opinion. My ONLY doubt is that a flagrant 1 is supposed to be for when someone fouls someone from behind when they are trying to score. I don’t know if our guy was trying to score, I think he was just going to try to run out the clock. But whatever, boos were cascading around the arena when they called a flagrant 1. So don’t think we are the only ones complaining about the refs. Duke fans think they got robbed by the refs against South Carolina. By the way, it IS statistically proven that refs, although they try to stay neutral, are slightly influenced by a home crowd. But Duke whining that they lost to SC just because of the refs?
(7) Speaking of which, I played a game years ago at Duke. The Sociology grad school team was playing a frat. We had no one in the crowd, they had the whole fraternity. The ref called a foul on the frat team. The frat fans went crazy and threatened the ref. So the ref changed his mind. He not only said the frat team did NOT foul, he said the foul was on US. I have never seen a ref so intimidated in my life. Now THAT’S bad officiating.
(8) I live in Chapel Hill. I worked at UNC for 34 years. I root for UNC. But I rooted even harder for Arkansas. Not just because I like the underdog, but because I have been a UNC fan for 40+ years but an Arkansas fan for 60. I said to myself before the UNC-Arkansas game I would be satisfied if UNC won, if Arkansas played well, and if Duke lost. I got all three. But that was my head speaking. My heart took over during the game and I rooted like heck for Arkansas. Woo Pig Sooie!
(9) I am happy for Roy Williams. The loss to Villanova was painful. But not as painful as the deaths of his best friend, and his father figure Dean Smith, and Coach Guthridge last year (who almost became the coach of Arkansas, but decided to stay an assistant to Dean). And he did this with no one and dones, and with a team less talented than last year’s. In a year when practically everyone at the start picked arch-rival Duke to win it all and UNC, while a top 10 team, was mostly just an afterthought. Recruiting has been hampered for years due to the academic scandal, which is a total embarrassment, but I really don’t think Roy or any of the current players are involved in any way. And the NCAA has said that too.