Dear NCAA, Fix the Officiating
The championship game was terribly officiated which seemed to be a fitting end to a season filled with brutal officiating. If you did not watch last nights game you missed an ugly game that was destroyed by the refs going back and forth between calling the game super tight and allowing physical play. There were also multiple missed calls with the biggest being a called jump ball in favor of UNC when Kennedy Meeks had his hand out of bounds. Kentucky also had their fair share of bad calls this season but it was more than just them. It is an epidemic in college basketball and the NCAA has to do something to fix it. Their product is the game of basketball and the officiating is damaging their product.
I am no genius and do not claim to have all the answers in regards to what to do. With that said the NCAA has full access to the greatest basketball minds in the world. A multitude of hall of fame coaches and former players would surely be happy to share their thoughts on what could be done to improve things. On top of that you have to think that the NBA referees association would be willing to give some input to the NCAA.
Obviously the officiating in the regular season needs to get better but the post season is what matters the most. It seems like it would be simple for the NCAA to have an official at the scorers table watching the game with a monitor in front of them for tournament games. If they saw a questionable call or play they could simply press a button that would alert the officials to stop play. Review the call quickly and make a change if necessary. The fear would be that too many stoppages in play would happen but the key would be reviewing things quickly. If the refs are supposed to be able to make a call in live time there is no reason they shouldn’t be able to make a call off a replay in 30 seconds or less. The NCAA could even shorten some TV timeouts to accommodate for some extra reviews. At the very least the things that are currently reviewable under the rules should be reviewable at any point in the game instead of just the final two minutes of play. A missed call in the first half can decide a game just as much as one at the end. It is just silly to have all this technology and video coverage available and not make use of it.
As I said earlier there are certainly people more knowledgeable about this than me that need to be involved in what happens. But something has got to happen because it is getting embarrassing for college basketball. Hopefully the NCAA will do what they need to do and address this in a big way this off season. The ball is in your court NCAA.