LOUISVILLE, Ky. — UCLA beat SMU, 60-59, today in the NCAA Tournament’s round of 64. The Bruins finished the game on an 8-0 run — with those last three points coming when Yanick Moreira got called for goaltending on Bryce Alford’s long 3-point attempt.
Did officials make the right decision?
From the NCAA men’s basketball rules book, this is Rule 9, Section 17, Article 3:
Goaltending occurs when a defensive player touches the ball during a field-goal try and each of the following conditions is met:
1. The ball is on its downward flight; and
2. The ball is above the level of the ring and has the possibility, while in flight, of entering the basket and is not touching the cylinder.
From what I saw live and from looking again at the footage, Alford’s shot looked like it was about to hit the rim. Moreira then jumped up and tipped it before it did, however, which resulted in the call. The shot didn’t look like it had the “possibility … of entering the basket,” but the officials also could have applied a basketball interference rule. The latter only requires that Moreira touched “the ball while any part of it is within the cylinder that has the ring as its lower base.”
Here was what official Sean Hull said after the game: “The call is goaltending and isn’t reviewable. We gave the rule number and the article. Why we went to the monitor was to determine if the basket was a three or a tow. Under two minutes by rule, we have a directive to do that. At the table it was confirmed that it was a three, and we put the ball back in play.”