Mandatory Replay Should Be Used in College Basketball
The thought first came to me while I was watching the Illinois- Miami game late Sunday night. Illinois had made a tremendous effort during the duration of the game that put them in the perfect spot to knock off the 2-seeded Hurricanes. Then, with a minute left in the game, the Illini found themselves trailing by two after a clutch three from Shane Larkin. DJ Richardson had a decent look for three from the wing, but was short and the ball ricocheted off the side of the rim, straight down into a threesome that included Miami's Kenny Kadji. It was clear through replay that Kadji was the last person to touch the ball, but the refs called it Hurricane possession. After the first replay I remember telling myself, "OK, they will go to the replay and get this sorted out, then Illinois and Brandon Paul will have a chance to tie this one up." However, the replay monitors were never consulted, and Miami was able to hit key free throws to put the game to rest.
After the game had ended, I got a sick feeling inside when I thought about how wronged the Illini must feel. In my mind, if you have the technology to make sure you get every close call down the stretch right, why don't you use it? Let's say the refs used the replay monitors and overturned the call, giving Illinois another chance to score. The game could have been been taken down to the final seconds, and who knows who could be Sweet Sixteen bound come today?
This is an aspect of the college basketball game that needs to be considered in the offseason. I'm all for refs calling the game how they see it, and I'm not saying the monitors should be used on every close call throughout the game. That would make games way longer and less interesting, in my opinion. But, in the final minutes of the game when every possession and every call is of the upmost importance, why not use instant replay for close calls? One simple glance would have changed the whole nature of the Illinois- Miami game if it would have been used, and it is troubling to think Illinois lost the game on a blown call. It needs to be discussed, and I say shame on the NCAA for not already having some sort of mandatory replay rule already in place.