« Uncomfortable questions with the founder of Coaches vs. Cancer, Norm Stewart | Main | Quote of the week »


Tennessee, Michigan & why we hate the refs

BildeINDIANAPOLIS, Indiana - It's an impossible job, but anyone who has ever decided to become a ref' realizes this reality. They cannot win, nor are they in the business of winning. They are there merely to make sure whomever does win did it clean.

The final seconds of the Tennessee-Michigan Sweet 16 NCAA Midwest Regional game once again brought to light the role of officiating, and whether the end of the game should determine whether "it's a foul."

With a little less than 10 seconds remaining and the Volunteers trailing by one point, forward Jarnell Stokes tried to back down Michigan's Jordan Morgan. Morgan looked like he beat Stokes to the spot, was set, and Stokes barreled over him. Referee David Hall made the call - offensive foul, turnover - and Michigan held on to win by two points to advance to the Elite 8.

I asked Stokes whether he thought he fouled Morgan. No real shock here:

"I don’t think I fouled him, but it was a smart play for him to try to take the charge,” Stokes said. “He pretty much anticipated it.”

And, surprise, Morgan thought he was in the right place at the right time.

“I know he likes to play bully ball. I like to take charges. It’s what I do,” he said.

Replays showed it looked Hall made the correct call.

The part you hate is that a ref' was in the middle of a play that directly impacted the final score, thus interfering with the sacred, "Let the players decide the game."

In fairness to the ref', it's a play that likely would have been called a foul at any other point in the game. If it's going to be called 10 seconds into the game, it has to be called with 10 seconds remaining in the game.

Twitter @MacEngelProf

Facebook Mac Engel



What I can't stand is inconsistency from the refs at the end of games. If a touch foul is called early in the game, then it should be called at the end of the game as well. Same thing if they allow physical play early, then they should allow it at the end. Coaches and players can adjust either way, but they have to know how the game is going to be called.


you have to be kidding me. It would have been called at any other point in the game? That was the only offensive foul called all game! The new charge rules make that clearly a defensive foul not to mention the reach in by Michigan's other player.........


Reach in, WTF are you talking about? And new rules make it clearly a defensive foul? HUH? His feet were planted and Stokes led with his shoulder. There is no new rule that requires a defender to move out of the way for an offender, nor is there a new rule preventing a player from stealing the ball.

Regardless, this all ignores the bad out of bounds call at 28.6 seconds that allowed Tennessee to get within a basket of tying in the first place.

The charge was questionable. Morgan sold it, no doubt, but Tennessee shouldn't have been within striking distance in the first place, so Tennessee fans crying about the refs should be thanking them for giving their team a shot in what was clearly a blowout until a few bad calls in their favor.


Rewatch the game dude. You are absolutely crazy if you don't think UT got terrible breaks ALL GAME!! Yes, I agree the refs were bad for both teams in the final minutes, but UT had touch fouls and no-call fouls all game that put them in this position. UM hit 11 or so 3s and UT still lost only by 2. Give UT a regular, intelligent referee and they win by ten. Not to count the 5 free throws our best player missed. Heck, it'd be 15 bc he usually hits those. Re-watch the game and don't be biased during that time and you'll change your mind. I'm not biased towards any team, so I speak truth.

The comments to this entry are closed.