Last season, Florida Gulf Coast University shocked practically everyone at the NCAA Tournament when the Cinderella team made it all the way to the Sweet 16. Yesterday, FGCU nearly stunned us all again, if it wasn't for those damn referees! With only 0.3 seconds left in FGCU's double overtime contest against South Florida, Jamail Jones heaved a full-court prayer that reached Chase Fieler, who released the ball before time expired and made the shot. Tie game? Nope.
While it does seem to be a bang-bang play, this still image from The Kansas City Star and Wichita Eagle writer Rustin Dodd shows that the ball left Fieler's hand before the red light went off:
Joe Dooley and FGCU were pretty much robbed. Evidence: pic.twitter.com/MHBPrOThZm— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) December 18, 2013
So, a replay could possibly confirm that the shot was, in fact, good, right? Wrong again. Prior to the final play, an official apparently approached FGCU head coach Joe Dooley to tell him that, according to NCAA rules, the only way that an attempt will count is if the player tips the ball in. Anything else would be considered no good. Here's the breakdown of the rule below:
“In any period, when the game clock displays 10ths of seconds and play is to be resumed by a throw-in or a free throw when 3/10 (.3) of a second or less remains on the game clock, a player may not gain possession of the ball and try for a field goal. Such player can only score a field goal by means of a tap of a pass or of a missed free throw.”
That's unfortunate. Guess we can only wonder what could've been...
[via For The Win]