Friday, February 22, 2013

Beat the buzzer, wait for the replay

In his Feb. 16 iChart, Jim Ingraham's Weak of the Week complained about the amount of time college basketball referees are spending at the courtside monitor reviewing close plays.

That had me wondering about how some of the most famous buzzer-beaters in history would have been different if the 2012-13 version of official reviews were in place.

Take Lorenzo Charles' dunk that gave North Carolina State the 1983 NCAA championship over Houston.

One of the most famous scenes in tournament history is Wolfpack coach Jim Valvano running around looking for someone to hug after Charles' dunk. If that happened this year, instead of pandemonium, everyone would celebrate for about two seconds before looking up and waiting for the replay on the Jumbotron. It's not the same, is it?

How about Georgia Tech's James Forrest against USC in 1992?

Or Duke's Christian Laettner against Kentucky the same year?

Or Valpo's Bryce Drew against Ole Miss in 1998?

Getting the call correct is important, of course. But the delays to check the clock, to check for potential flagrant fouls or to check if a shooter's foot was on the 3-point line -- combined with over-managed, physical games -- can really suck the wind out of an exciting contest.

- Howard Primer


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