Miami (OH) 53
Unsatisfactory result. As awful and heart-rending as the end was, the denoument was positively bizarre. If you missed it, Cedric Middletonic pulled down a rebound with 6.6 seconds to go and missed the front half of a one-and. Miami batted the ball around a bit, pushed it down court and drained a three as the clock ran out.
Then we went to the video tape. At issue was whether the timekeeper started the clock at first contact with the ball after the miss. On replay, he clearly did not. Did it make a difference? It looked to me like the winning shot went of with 1.2 seconds left. The time between first contact and the clock starting looked like it could have been over a second, though I didn't put a clock on it.
So the officials give Akron .6 seconds for a pass and prayer play that goes like you would figure.
Either the rule should be that the timekeeper screwing up is part of the game and we go with the call on the court or the rule should be that the officials will review the tape and determine if thes timekeeper's goof made a difference. This split-the-baby approach does no favors for anyone except officials who want to get out of the arena without wearing beverages from unhappy fans. The officials said in essence, "The time keeper missed first contact and but for his mistake Akron would have won, so as a remedy, take this one-in-a-hundred shot at the basket and thanks for coming."
Meanwhile I feel bad for Middleton who risks Bucknerian infamy. In fact he made a great play pulling the rebound down in traffic and covering up to prevent a jump ball. Yes, his gork off the front of the iron was as ugly as anything you will see on a basketball court, but his contribution shouldn't be reduced to that, nor should fans see that as the efficient cause of the loss. Fact is, the whole team went cold at the end of the game, allowing Miami to tie it up. Then after the miss, the team went collectively brain dead and forgot to guard the perimeter.
And Middleton's play should have been enough by itself -- it generally takes more than six seconds to corrall a rebound, dribble upcourt and set for a winning shot. Miami had more than six seconds because the timekeeper evidently thought the ball magically changed course in midair.
So, all in all, unsatisfactory.
Meanwhile, Akron should be a lock for the NIT. I've been out of touch with college hoops this season. I knew Toledo won the MAC, but didn't realize they had a much weaker out-of-conference record. As for the dance, it would have been a long shot any year, but this week has been especially grim for bubble teams.
On an up note, Ohio will have four teams in the tourney (Ohio State, Wright State, Miami and Xavier.) And my Alma Mater is in the D.III Elite Eight.
No. Doesn't help. This just sucks.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Miami (OH) 53