Indiana: Late Officiating Costs Hoosiers Shot at Victory

By Eric Smith
Ben Woloszyn-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t normally resort to blaming officials for losses, but it seems as of late whether it’s the NFL, NBA or NCAA, officiating is really costing teams games. That happened today in Indiana‘s 83-80 loss to Illinois. Some blunders late in the game cost Indiana a chance of a road victory over Illinois.

How important of a game did the refs blow? Both teams were very even and looking for a quality win. Indiana has Michigan State and Wisconsin coming up in two of the next three games, so today was a must-win.

They positioned themselves nicely being down one late in the overtime period and after a missed free throw by Illinois, Jon Ekey held Noah Vonleh‘s arms down which resulted in him dropping the ball and Illinois getting it back. Indiana had to foul as there was only 30 seconds left.

Luckily, Illinois missed both free throws to make up for the call, but when Yogi Ferrell drove to the lane, he was fouled by Nnanna Egwu, but nothing was blown. The ball came in the hands on Vonleh and he was tackled by Tracy Abrams.

Still no call.

From there, Vonleh and the entire IU team tried calling a timeout, but the officials turned the cheek and called a jump ball.

Again, how do you call a jump ball when Vonleh had possession?

What impact did this have on the game?

There was only nine seconds left and Illinois had the possession arrow. That meant Indiana had to foul which gave Illinois the upper hand.

There were other missed calls throughout the game, but none was more of a factor in the game than in the overtime period. Just hope Indiana doesn’t miss the tournament due to this.

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