Sunday, January 29, 2006

There's officiating, and then there's the SEC's officials

Yesterday's Georgia-Auburn game reminded me that for as bad as I think the SEC's football referees are, the basketball refs might be even worse. Now, I could rely solely on the fact that Auburn shot 26 more free throws than Georgia, and on the biggest single possession of the entire game a full 4 ridiculously obvious fouls went uncalled (Gaines drive to the basket when the Dawgs were down 2). But that's just the Georgia fan in me. The thing is that the refs were bad to both teams. It's called consistency, and the stripes lacked it throughout. Countless handchecks that were nothing more than a slight graze went called, while multiple times where players were shoved to the ground the whistles were silent. The opening 5 minutes of the second half were some of the closest called basketball I've ever seen. Auburn was in the double bonus by 13:30 remaining. Just madness. Then, as the game moved along, and got increasingly physical, the calls disappeared. Offensive fouls and over-the-back calls varied wildly in what the refs would allow. On two consecutive times down the court in the second half, Korvotney Barber and Rasheem Barrett got easy putbacks off of offensive rebounds. On both plays Barber and Barrett shoved the Georgia player who had boxed them out clear into the stands. No call on either.

The officiating was so bad I was seriously yelling at the TV for Felton TO get a technical, just to get the refs to focus a little more.

But that is about par for the course in the SEC. Since I've followed SEC basketball, I cannot remember a game without at least 10 terrible calls or missed calls. Just a shame.

[I take no position on whether the officials' ineptitude cost Georgia the game - there were a good number of other things contributing to the loss. This post solely serves to draw attention to how bad the zebras were.]