On a national stage and in perhaps the biggest game of the year for the Pac-12, unfortunately the conference’s reputation for bad officiating was one of the biggest story lines in No. 3 Arizona’s thrilling 92-83 overtime win over Colorado.
Colorado senior guard Sabatino Chen seemingly delivered a dramatic three-pointer that banked off the glass as time expired. However, officials in the McKale Center reviewed the play on courtside monitors and waived off the basket, which sent the game into overtime.
Still, give Arizona credit. The Wildcats never quit. They’re like Jason or Freddy Krueger or the Terminator. They just don’t die, metaphorically speaking. Down 17 in the first half. Down 16 in the second half. Down 10 with 1:53 left. It didn’t matter. They outscored CU 22-5 in the final 6:44, while the Buffaloes ran out of gas and fell apart. Down the stretch, CU committed silly penalties, untimely turnovers and missed free throws, while Arizona was 28 for 36 (77.8 percent) at the line.
Arizona improved to 13-0 and 1-0 Pac-12, including dramatic one-point wins over Florida and San Diego State. It would be a shame if Colorado (10-3, 0-1) becomes a bubble team that misses the NCAA tournament.
The Pac-12’s officiating was supposed to improve under the direction of former NBA ref Ed T. Rush.
In a statement released by the conference, Rush said: “Game officials reviewed video replays of the end of regulation in accordance with NCAA playing rules and determined the ball was still on the shooters’ fingertips when the official game clock on the floor expired. Per Conference protocol, the officials conducted a thorough review court side and viewed multiple angles of the play before confirming the ruling. I have reviewed the video replays and agree with the ruling.”
The three-man officiating crew, led by Verne Harris, included James Breeding and Randy McCall.
FRIDAY MORNING LINKS:
— Here’s some fallout from the game. CU coach Tad Boyle wants to end the use of replay.
— Jeff Borzello at CBSsports.com provides a frame-by-frame look at Chen’s shot.
— The Wildcats admitted luck played a large role in their win.
— Here’s Bob Condotta’s story on Washington two-sport star Austin Seferian-Jenkins who has chosen not to return to the basketball team.
— Jeff Goodman at CBSsports.com previews the Pac-12 season and picks Washington to finish ninth. He writes: “This isn’t a typical Lorenzo Romar team in terms of talent. The Huskies are 8-5 and the losses have come to Ohio State, UConn, Colorado State, Nevada and Albany. C.J. Wilcox is a good player, but he needs more help.”
— As a nice follow-up to the Arizona-Colorado game, USC pulled off a mild upset and toppled Stanford 71-69 at Galen Center. The Trojans overcame a nine-point, second-half deficit and needed to survive two last-second shots to preserve the win.
— Kyle Anderson had 19 points and 12 rebounds and Shabazz Muhammad shrugged off a slow start and finished with 16 to lead UCLA to a 79-65 win over California. Travis Wear had 15 for the Bruins (11-3, 1-0) who have won six in a row for the first time since the 2010-11 season when they had two such streaks and last made the NCAA tournament. Allen Crabbe, the Pac-12’s leading scorer, had 21 for the Golden Bears (8-5, 0-1). Cal missed all 13 of its 3-point attempts, its second straight outing without making a shot from beyond the arc.
— Utah is trying to shake off a deflating loss to Arizona State in Wednesday’s Pac-12 opener. Next up: Arizona.