Here is the issue, in my opinion - it’s the NAME of the damned fouls. DON’t call them a “Flagrant I” and “Flagrant II”. Instead, call them by what they are - call what is now called a Flagrant I a “non-play foul” (or whatever name you want to come up with), and call what is now a Flagrant II just “Flagrant”. That would avoid the confusion.
When I hear the word “flagrant”, I think of violence, malice or doing something way over the line. I don’t think that adjective is appropriate for this interpretation of what the NCAA deems to call a “Flagrant I” foul. Some of the other ways that foul can be called does relate better to the word than a non-play on the ball does.
So, when I hear some announcers say this was not a “flagrant” foul, I believe they are mistaking the meaning of the word “flagrant” with the NCAA’s definition of what IT calls a Flagrant I foul. The latter includes among the things that a player can be called for a “Flagrant I” foul, “Contact that is not a legitimate attempt to play the ball or player, specifically designed to stop or keep the clock from starting”.
That is, exactly, what the SH player did late in the Friday game. If you look at the replay, he wasn’t even looking at the player or the ball as his hands made contact with Barford. As he saw Barford moving past him toward to basket, he simply put two hands on his back and pushed him forward and down. The trip was incidental and no factor in the call.
What’s unfortunate about this is that all basketball fans know what the Seton Hall player was intending to do - which was foul our guy to stop the clock and (hopefully) miss free throws to lengthen the game for SH. That’s a common strategy at that point in the game. The sad thing is that he failed to execute the play properly. And there is no excuse for that, which makes is doubly frustrating. It would be similar to grabbing the ball after a made free throw with seconds left if the game and letting one of your feet touch the baseline before throwing the ball in. Everybody “knows” what the player was wanting to do, but it would be an inexplicable, frustrating turnover because the player lazily - or thoughtlessly - failed to execute the play properly. That’s what happened here.
Time to rename this infraction to something that better fits it.