Let’s be clear, things sometimes look different on television than they do in person. I’ve been very fortunate throughout the ACC Tournament to have a front row seat, on the court. I appreciate it, and truly try to enjoy every moment. This seat allows me a very up close view of the game in progress, and often times the same angle as the official along the baseline.
Sitting beside other media members, it also allows me the opportunity to compare thoughts on the game. Sometimes, I’ll make a comment and a fellow media member will tell me that I am flat out wrong. But, today we were all in agreement. NC State got jobbed.
The ACC is not going to admit it, the officials are not going to admit, and most media members won’t write it, but I will.
Now, I’m not going to say that the entire game was swayed toward North Carolina. I also understand that the Wolfpack put themselves in the position to lose the game, and if they had done things differently, they could have walked away with a win.
But, there were certainly spurts during the game that the officiating looked one sided, in the Tar Heels favor. Again, keep in mind that I’m a Tar Heel fan. Not a bandwagon jumper, a lifelong Tar Heel fan.
A couple of examples come to mind along press row. The first is during the 2nd half when NC State’s Lorenzo Brown was dribbling down the right side, Kendall Marshal came flying in from the left block to right block. The whistle blew, and to everyone’s surprise, the call went against Brown.
Later in the second half, similar plays by opposing teams resulted in opposing calls. As the Tar Heels drove the ball into the lane from the right side, a jumble of players occurred, UNC missed the shot and a Wolfie was called for the foul. No, problem. But, on the very next play, the Wolfies dribbled into the paint from the left side, a jumble ensued and despite the body, and arm bashing, no call was made. It was obvious that things simply weren’t going to go NC State’s way.
Certainly, these are just two instances, and they don’t make a game either way. But without going through the game play by play, I can only offer an opinion of the game. And my opinion is that NC State got screwed.
A fellow broadcaster from Asheville, NC and admitted State fan said “I’m tired of playing 8 on 5. Any time you play North Carolina or Duke, the calls go the other way.”
When NC State Coach Mark Gottfried, was asked to comment on the officiating, he simply said “I can’t, they’ll fine me.” When he was asked if it was safe to say that official Brian Dorsey wouldn’t be receiving a Christmas card from the Gottfried family this year, Gottfried replied, sternly and glaringly, “I’m not answering that.”
During the press conference, a fellow media member noticed my excitement about the Tar Heel win, and asked if it bothered me that the Tar Heels won it that way. My answer to him was “No, that’s just the way it is. The Tar Heels get the call. Sometimes you are on the short end of the stick in life, and sometimes you are not.” The Tar Heels always seem to get the calls and that’s just the way it is.
So, let me say to the Wolfpack faithful, courtside it seemed obvious to me that your team got the short end of the stick. I don’t know if you would have won the game or not had it been any other way. But, I do know that you have a valid case. Make it, welcome in your highly ranked recruiting class next year and come back and give it another shot. But, remember this, you’re going to have to play even harder than the Tar Heels if you are going to win, because life just isn’t fair sometimes. You know it, and the Tar Heel nation knows it too.