Illinois basketball shafted in Tourney; NCAA changes rule yesterday


illinois basketball

Partially due to a blown call, Illinois basketball has beaten a higher seeded NCAA Tournament team just twice in school history. Trailing 57-55 with 40 seconds remaining, replays clearly showed the Illini should have maintained offensive possession on an out-of-bounds call. Instead, the ball was wrongly awarded to the Miami Hurricanes. And even a Miami player admitted it.

Now the NCAA is going to going to make sure this type of thing doesn’t happen again.

First, check out this tweet from Chicago Tribune Illini beat reporter Shannon Ryan:


Well, here’s some news about how that’s going to change in the future.

The 12-person committee had 11 members present and voted on changing the replay rules, as well as adjusting the elbow-clearing rule and block/charge clarification.

Pending approval from the Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which will meet on a conference call on June 18, these rules will go into effect for the 2013-14 season.

[Rules committee chair John] Dunne said there was a lengthy discussion to allow officials to go to the monitor in the final two minutes of regulation and overtime to determine who should retain possession for a play out of bounds. The original proposal was for the last minute.

“We felt that two minutes was better than one minute,” Dunne said. “Obviously, a possession with 1:10 left is just as important as one with just under a minute left.” (h/t Champaign Room)

Illini head coach John Groce responded to a question about the critical in-bounds call at the postgame press conference:

“You saw the same video that I did. Those guys did a good job though. They did. It’s a hard game to officiate, it’s both teams physical, both teams desiring the same thing. 50/50 calls are hard sometimes.That’s how he saw the play in life speed, and certainly respect him and respect the call that he made.”

Groce took the high road, but on Twitter, just about everyone watching the game on television tweeted that it should have been Illinois basketball.

Had the call been correct, maybe the Illinois basketball program would have it’s third tourney win over a higher seed in school history. The Illini were a #5 seed when crushing the #4 seed Cincinnati Bearcats in 2004 (a moment chronicled on MTV’s reality show The Newlyweds, as Mr. Jessica Simpson, Nick Lachey is a huge Cincy fan) and #9 over #8 UNLV in ’11.

Illinois basketball is now 1-8 vs Top-2 seeds (only win: 1989 vs Syracuse when Illinois was a No. 1 seed). Illinois basketball was also a #1 seed in 2001 and 2005. Brandon Paul played his final college basketball game with authority, scoring 19.

Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports, an author and regular contributor to MSN, Fox Sports , Chicago Now, Walter and Yardbarker.

Banks has appeared on the History Channel, as well as Clear Channel, ESPN and CBS radio all over the world. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@PaulMBanks)


  1. It really was a horrible call, and I think every neutral observer felt like the team was robbed of its chances on that.

    Anyway, some of these stats used here make it seem like Illinois hasn’t really had success in the tourney. Actually, while they might have few wins over higher-seeded teams, they have come in as a high seed too. In 2005 they were a #1, and they took down at least a #3 and other high seeds on their way to the championship game.

    This year’s team probably wasn’t championship material as they had issues with consistency toward the end of the season, but they were elite 8 worthy. On a neutral court with competent refs, Illinois would win that game last night. And that fact should keep Miami fans quiet.

  2. yes bad call–but shafted?? come on miami was up 2. being shafted is what happended to iowa st

  3. paulmbanks says

    being shafted is also what about happened to Notre Dame versus Xavier with that lane violation call. a call no one ever makes. But 3 whole people care about ND basketball so there wasn’t much fuss about it

  4. paulmbanks says

    @MH I agree Iowa St people are feeling the same way today

    @Ravi I guess that’s what makes a loss from a blown call (and to be fair Illinois can still win that game with the missed call. Get a steal on defense so Miami can’t run clock. then score right away at you’re tied once again. so it didn’t give them the game) but what makes this loss sting so much is the “bracket buster” effect.

    we all cheer for the #1 and #2 seeds to get knocked off, and this one SHOULD HAVE. And Illinois has never had a bracket busting win..partially because, like you said- they’re very often a high seed, and play lower seeds. But this is why Illinois is the greatest program in history never to have won it all. 5 Final Fours, 3 #1 seeds but no titles. maybe if they pulled an upset some year who knows. And I do agree this team was not championship material

  5. they did play on a neutral floor and still lost and def had the home crouwd advantage and all u pussies bitching about the refs–did u not see miami get screwed all game. miami played awful and still won.

  6. paulmbanks says

    You’re right, it was a neutral court. But Illinois has the largest alumni base in the nation, so many of them don’t have to travel wherever they go. Plus Mia is a football school. b-ball has a lot of apathy from their fans.

  7. Miami sucks.


    Google “7th Floor Crew” for all you need to know about the Miami Hurricanes.

Speak Your Mind