clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

This is why the SMU shot was clearly basket interference

New, 2 comments

All you have to do is read the rules of NCAA basketball to understand why the late-game play by SMU was "basket interference," not necessarily "goal tending."

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

SMU clearly committed basket interference near the end of the thrilling first-round NCAA tournament game against the UCLA Bruins. To understand why, all you have to do is something that fans never do yet always cry about: Read the rule book.

People don't have the rule terminology correct on this play. They keep talking about "goaltending." Goaltending is something very specific and is different from basket interference.

Goaltending occurs when a defensive player touches the ball during a fieldgoal try and each of the following conditions is met: (Exceptions: Rule 10-4.1.i)
1. The ball is on its downward flight; and
2. The ball is above the level of the ring and has the possibility, while in flight, of entering the basket and is not touching the cylinder.

That second part - "has the possibility" of scoring - is certainly debatable in this case. So "goaltending" is up in the air. But this is why no one is using the correct terminology because there's also "basket interference." Read the definition of basket interference in the NCAA rulebook. It comes under Rule 9, Section 17, Article 2:

Basket interference occurs when a player: 2. Touches the ball while any part of it is within the cylinder that has the ring as its lower base;

Period. There's no rule about possibility of scoring in the "basket interference" definition. Whether the ball was going to go in or not is irrelevant. Would that shot have gone in? Chances are slim. But it doesn't matter. The ball was in the cylinder, the defensive player touched the ball, the basket counts.

Rules, people. Read the rules.