Officiating took center stage in the final minutes of yet another NCAA Tournament game when Maryland was not called for a foul on the final shot attempt in a 65-62 win over Valparaiso.
Up 3 in the final moments, Mark Turgeon inserted little-used 5-foot-9 guard Varun Ram as his roster battled foul trouble late in the game. Ram will go into the official record as defending Keith Carter on his potential game-tying shot as time expired.
Ram got a piece of Carter’s arm on the play, and Carter probably should have gone to the line for three shots. Certainly that’s not guarantee the game would go to overtime, but Valpo will never know.
This isn’t the first officiating issue in late games in the round of 64 and perhaps not the most egregious.
In an earlier game Friday, Louisville’s Terry Rozier was not called for a foul after reaching in on UC Irvine’s ball handler as the Anteaters weren’t able to get into their offense for the final play of a 57-55 loss.
The most controversial, though, will be the goal tend call that enabled UCLA to score the game-winning points against SMU. The Mustangs’ Yanick Moreira swatted the Alford 3-point shot on its descent, but the ball did not appear to be close to entering the basket. UCLA won 60-59.
The images from SMU's goal tend: