Being a ref is a really hard job sometimes.
There’s so much to keep an eye on, some stuff can understandably slip through the cracks. But this missed call — at this time — isn’t exactly understandable.
In the NCAA Tournament second-round game between Gonzaga and Northwestern on Saturday, Bulldogs center Zach Collins got up and threw down a key block on Northwestern’s Dererk Pardon. The only problem? Collins’ hand clearly went through the basket.
I just hope this blown call & subsequent Collins technical doesn't cost Northwestern the Sweet 16 let's hope it doesn't come to that it w pic.twitter.com/iXh5RQaUD8
— IllinoisLoyalty (@IllinoisLoyalty) March 18, 2017
You can see the full video here.
Considering Northwestern was charging back and only down 5 with 5 minutes left at the time, it’s fair to say this incredible lapse in vision contributed in some measure to the Wildcats’ 79-73 loss and the end of their historic NCAA Tournament run. Making matters worse was Northwestern coach Chris Collins drawing a technical foul as he argued his point with the referees.
After the game, Zach Collins claimed he didn’t know he did anything wrong — nor was he particularly apologetic about anything.
Collins says his hand didn't know it was in the rim… "We weren't really worried about it."
— Inside NU (@insidenu) March 19, 2017
The NCAA, however, saw it differently. It released a statement after the game, confirming that it is indeed illegal to put your hand through the basket to block a shot.
NCAA issues statement on Gonzaga-Northwestern goaltend pic.twitter.com/2YHKe6TwA0
— Luke Winn (@lukewinn) March 19, 2017