And so, another college basketball season ends with another championship game that. . .
Well, put it this way. If you can’t name 10 NCAA tournament games that were more entertaining than Gonzaga-UNC, you weren’t watching closely.
Part of the problem is that foul calls are so game-altering. I don’t want to rip officials because they do what they’re supposed to do, and they generally do it well.
Raising the number of fouls allowed wouldn’t change the situation. Because everybody’s playing on the edge. If players had six or even seven fouls instead of five, they’d be that much more aggressive on defense, and still wind up flirting with fouling out.
While Gonzaga’s big men were taken off their games by whistles, I couldn’t help but think of the 2005 national championship game, in which Illinois’ key big man, James Augustine, got into foul trouble on some bing-bang plays.
That paved the way for North Carolina to smoke the Illini.
I don’t know exactly what happened in the work-the-referees contest between Mark Few and Roy Williams. But I’ve always thought Williams absolutely drilled Bruce Weber in that department in 2005.
And I thought Mike Krzyzewski did a marvelous job in the 2015 national championship, absolutely blowing Bo Ryan out of the gym in the second half. Ordinarily, Bo is pretty good at making his point to referees. But he was no match for Coach K, who might be the best.
Working the refs is part of the game. Often, a big part. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.