Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Game 25 - Harvard @ Georgetown - Dec. 23, 2009

Tony Greene was on the move; after working a game last night in Starkville, MS, he hurried to Washington, DC, for an afternoon game today. Harvard (better than the average Ivy League team) was facing Georgetown (a worse than average Big East team, and a team that seems to be in turmoil, at that).

Georgetown was a 14-point favorite and barely covered, winning 86-70. However, this game was not televised, so while ITGOTT would have loved to review a game that concluded so close to the spread, that's not possible.

Maybe next time!

Game 24 - Centenary @ Mississippi State - Dec. 22, 2009

After a couple days off, Tony Greene showed up in Starkville, MS, to work Mississippi State's blowout of the Centenary Gentlemen.

This game was not televised, so there can be no ITGOTT review of Tony Greene's performance

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Game 23 - South Carolina @ Wofford - Dec. 19, 2009

GAME - South Carolina @ Wofford; Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009

LINE - South Carolina - 3

RESULT - Wofford wins outright, winning 68-61.

Review coming later this week (game on TiVo).

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Game 22 - Richmond @ South Carolina - Dec. 16, 2009

GAME - Richmond @ South Carolina; Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009

LINE - South Carolina - 4 1/2

RESULT - South Carolina covers, winning 76-58

Tony Greene showed up in Columbia, SC, tonight, to work the match-up between the Richmond Spiders and the South Carolina Gamecocks. The Gamecocks entered the game as a 4 1/2 point favorite, according to the Las Vegas Hilton.

If The Team You Are Helping Has Bigger Players, Let The Game Be More Physical

South Carolina entered the game knowing it was the bigger, more physical team. Richmond played the role of the savvier, ball movement specialists who would work to get good shots and play very smart defense, preventing fast breaks and easy buckets. A more physical game would CLEARLY help the Gamecocks.

As the lead official, Tony Greene would be likely to set the officiating tone that this ballgame took. That tone was set early when there was simply nothing being called by any official.

Unbelievably, the first 5+ minutes were played without a single foul call. On one possession, South Carolina was crashing the offensive glass and two fouls could be HEARD when Richmond players were slapping the arms of South Carolina players. Going the other way, Richmond saw two players hit the floor with no call. Before a single call was made by any official, a hot-shooting Richmond team had taken a 12-4 lead.

The Charge/Block Call - It Can Always Go Either Way, So Make Sure It Goes Your Way

Then Tony Greene stepped in, whistling a Richmond player for a charge on a clear 50/50 call with about 12 minutes to go in the half. The Spiders were unable to gain any momentum, and a 7-0 South Carolina run reduced an 8-point Richmond lead to a single point advantage halfway through the first half.

Use Calls (And Non-Calls) To Stop Momentum Of The Team You Are Not Helping

Richmond wouldn't be denied, and some aggressive defense and some smart passing led to some easy Spider baskets, and their lead quickly ballooned to 9 points as they seized the momentum. But the officials apparently didn't want Richmond to have the momentum, and one of the most ticky-tack fouls ITGOTT has seen all year was called on Richmond, resulting in an "and one" for the Gamecocks.

Yet Richmond STILL wouldn't be denied, controlling the tempo and making efficient, smart passes to earn their players open shots. Other than ignore South Carolina fouls (which they did on two consecutive possessions), there really wasn't anything the officials could do. Not that Tony Greene didn't try, calling YET ANOTHER "and one" foul call on Richmond with just over 4 minutes left in the half, the subsequent free throw reducing the Spider lead to 3.

Richmond's sticky D resulted in a couple of Gamecock turnovers, and the Spider halftime lead was extended to 8. (It should also be noted that JB Caldwell, NOT Tony Greene, called a charge on South Carolina inside of a minute to play in the first half, the resulting Richmond basket representing a 4-point change). For South Carolina to cover, they needed to win the second half by 15 points, a pretty large challenge against a team that controls tempo as well as Richmond.

If You Need Something To Change, Set A Tone Early In The Second Half By Changing The Officiating Style From The First Half

Get Major Players On The Team You Are Not Helping In Foul Trouble

Amazingly, 15 seconds into the second half (remember, it was more than 5 minutes into the first half before a foul was called on ANY team), a foul is called on Richmond. 2 more minutes, and yet another "and one" foul was called on Richmond, and suddenly South Carolina was only down 4. This officiating crew, led by Tony Greene, was clearly officiating this game differently in the second half than they had in the first half.

And oh by the way, that "and one" call was the FOURTH foul on Richmond senior leader David Gonzalvez, so he had to go to the bench VERY early in the second half.

A non-call on a South Carolina block of a Richmond lay-up, then a 50/50 out-of-bounds call that went South Carolina's way, and 3 minutes into the second half, an 11-2 South Carolina run has flipped an 8-point Richmond halftime lead into a 1-point deficit.

The early second-half tone set by the officials really seemed to rattle Richmond, and announcer Dave Neal even claimed that Richmond had gone into a "meltdown situation." With the 4 1/2 point spread COVERED less than 5 minutes into the second half (after South Carolina had an 8-point deficit at halftime), the power that the officials have to change the momentum of a game by changing how they officiate that game has not been more evident in any game ITGOTT has reviewed this season. This game was CLEARLY officiated differently, as relates to Richmond especially, in the first half than it was in the opening minutes of the second half - and that change seemed to make all the difference in the game.

Richmond coach Chris Mooney saw the game slipping away from him, and in desperation, put his senior leader David Gonzalvez back into the game long before the game reached the mid-point of the second half. That change, and the defensive intensity brought by Gonzalvez, helped Richmond reduce the lead to 1 point, and flip the spread. With the game tied with nearly 11 minutes to play, Richmond coach Chris Mooney judiciously put his senior leader David Gonzalvez, laden with 4 fouls, back on the bench. The resulting decrease in defensive intensity allowed the Gamecocks to build back a 2-point lead, demonstrating how a key call (that fourth foul call on Gonzalvez 2 minutes into the second half) can influence a game long after the whistle has finished sounding.

If The Team You Are Helping Has Bigger Players, Let The Game Be More Physical

Then, with the game tied with just under 8 minutes to go, the Tony Greene-led officiating crew once AGAIN changed its style and swallowed their whistles. A couple of possible Gamecock fouls (and an obvious Gamecock traveling violation) were ignored, a 50/50 out-of-bounds ball went South Carolina's way, and without a single foul being called on either team for 3 1/2 minutes, a 15-0 South Carolina run blew the game open. It seemed to ITGOTT that this was how this Tony Greene-led crew wanted it to be at the outset of the game, but Richmond's hot shooting, crisp passing, and intense D didn't allow for that. A simple change of officiating style changed the course of the game, and ANOTHER change of officiating style dictated the ending.

Look at it this way: with the game tied at 52 with 8 minutes to go, the officials simply stopped calling fouls on South Carolina. Shockingly, not a single foul was called on the Gamecocks for MORE THAN NINE MINUTES!!!

With The Spread Easily Covered, Make Calls Favoring the OTHER Team To Draw Attention Away From Yourself

Tony Greene stepped in to call a meaningless reach-in call on South Carolina 30 feet from from the basket - no free throws, of course, Richmond wasn't in the bonus - with a minute and a half to go in the game. That call was the ONLY foul call made on South Carolina during the final 10 1/2 minutes of the game.

No wonder South Carolina covered the 4 1/2 point spread after trailing by 8 at halftime!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Game 21 - Elon @ Wake Forest - Dec. 13, 2009

Tony Greene traveled cross-country from Anaheim to work yesterday's blowout of Elon by the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (an underrated team, in ITGOTT's opinion).

No TV coverage, however.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A comment on Curtis Shaw

Curtis Shaw is one of the most respected officials in college basketball, but ITGOTT is not a fan. One might think that because Curtis Shaw has been honored with the privilege or working multiple Final Fours, he could be considered one of the best officials in college basketball. But his officiating in general, and his behavior yesterday in particular, demonstrate why he should no longer be allowed to officiate college basketball games.

In last night's game between #5 Purdue and unranked Alabama from Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa, AL, Curtis Shaw was working along with (an ITGOTT favorite) Bert Smith and John Hughes. Behind the emotion and momentum of the Heisman Trophy announcement, when Mark Ingram was able to become the first Alabama player EVER (can that even be possible?) to win the Heisman trophy, the Crimson Tide were able to take a double digit lead on the heavily favored Boilermakers from Purdue. But talent won out, and Purdue quickly closed the gap in the second half, pulling away to win by nearly double digits.

But the story of this game is the unfortunate behavior of Curtis Shaw. One of the most "respected" officials in college basketball, once again, had to make the game about him, ejecting several Crimson Tide students from the students section.

We've seen this sort of petty, childish behavior from Curtis Shaw before. Last season, the thin-skinned bully Curtis Shaw ejected Rice's mascot, Sammy the Owl, for commenting on a Curtis Shaw call with about 8 minutes remaining in a game where Rice was hosting Tulane.

This season, Curtis Shaw took it on himself to inject himself into the game, and even the crowd, last night when excited, boisterous Alabama fans were apparently saying something Curtis Shaw didn't like. The fans were not entering the court; they were not interfering with the game; and they were not throwing items onto the floor - all of those are acceptable reasons for a fan to be ejected. But with the trend of universities placing student sections closer to the floor to create a more intimidating home atmosphere, as Alabama has done, there will be enthusiastic students who loudly support their teams. Who can argue an Alabama student, sitting peacefully in his team's student section on the first day of the academic holiday break and just hours after learning his football team's star had won the school's first Heisman Trophy, getting vociferously involved in the game? Well, apparently Curtis Shaw, who began singling out students for ejection with about 4 minutes left to go in the game.

This game isn't about you, Curtis Shaw! This game is about students! It's about fun! And it's about the thrill of cheering for your team - even the fun of criticizing a lazy, overrated, past-his-prime, ref like you! This sports has so many great officials - like Bert Smith, who was working with Curtis Shaw last night - that it's a shame that a thin-skinned, lazy, bully of a coward like you had to be considered one of the best in the game. You are not, Curtis Shaw. You, because of your attitude, are one of the worst.

And it's not just your attitude. It's your lazy officiating. Here is an example:

Every official in every game is expected to demonstrate a "visible ten-second count" if he's working the backcourt as a team approaches mid-court with the ball. Offensive teams have ten seconds to move the ball into the frontcourt, or it's a turnover. Ten times per possession, each official is expected to demonstrate this with his arm until the offensive team crosses midcourt and enters the frontcourt. To avoid doing so is either the height of laziness or the pinnacle of arrogance - or in the case of Curtis Shaw, both.

ITGOTT watched last night's game. Every single possession, without exception, Bert Smith offered the players (and coaches and fans) a visible ten-second count. Every single time.

Curtis Shaw did not, on any possession that we noticed. He's too lazy, too arrogant, too SOMETHING to do the most basic of officiating duties. Yet he injects himself into games time and time again, ejecting mascots, and even pointing out vociferous students to the police so they can be escorted out.

Watch the next game Curtis Shaw officiates. He will NOT demonstrate a visible ten-second call, an easy way to tell if an official is willing to do the little things as part of his job.

Curtis Shaw is the WORST official in college basketball. He's an arrogant, thin-skinned bully who can't do the basics of his job, yet oversteps his purview repeatedly to show people who's really in charge. Way to go, Curtis Shaw. You truly are an embarrassment to officials, a disgrace to the NCAA, and a humilation to anyone who knows you.

Game 20 - Georgetown vs. Washington @ Anaheim, CA; Dec. 12, 2009

Tony Green worked yesterday's game between Georgetown and Washington in the John Wooden Classic in Anaheim, CA.

Although the game was televised by Fox Sports Net, ITGOTT was unable to watch the game.

Perhaps there will be a replay of the game this week.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Game 19 - DePaul vs. Mississippi State @ Tampa, FL; Dec. 10, 2009

GAME - DePaul vs. Mississippi State in Tampa; Thursday, Dec. 12, 2009

LINE - Mississippi State - 12

RESULT - Mississippi State covers easily, winning by 31, 76-45

After a necessary FOUR days off following his Saturday "effort" in Lexington (, Tony Greene showed up in Tampa, FL, tonight, working the lesser half of the Big East-SEC Showdown match-ups played in Tampa. Drawing the short straw and missing out on the anticipated Florida-Syracuse tilt later in the evening, Tony Greene was forced to sit through the desolate DePaul-Mississippi State match-up, and so were his friends at ITGOTT.

When Things Are Going Your Way, Swallow Your Whistle

Halfway through the first half, ITGOTT hadn't noticed anything egregious by any of tonight's crew, which consisted of Tony Greene, Mike Kitts, and Doug Shows. A questionable charge call on a Mississippi State Bulldog resulted in a DePaul three-pointer, and an additional bizarre rebounding foul on MSU's Kodi Augustus made ITGOTT look at Doug Shows, but he's more of a bad official than an official "on the take."

If Tony Greene was calling anything, ITGOTT missed it in the first half. A Mississippi State run, fueled by 9 first-half three-pointers, was not interrupted by any calls, and a 15-0 run put the Bulldogs up by 19 at the close of the half. The spread was covered 5 minutes before the first half, and MSU never looked back. Tony Greene wasn't going to make any calls to break MSU's momentum, and DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright's repeated time-outs proved futile. FYI - During MSU's 15-0 run, only 2 total fouls were called on either team, and neither were called by Tony Greene.

An easy "and-one" call made by a shockingly out-of-position Tony Greene (ITGOTT had no clue what he was doing in that position when he made the call) with 42 seconds to go in the half allowed MSU to extend its lead to 22, the margin being reduced to 20 at halftime.

(To be fair, this looked like a case of one coach totally out-preparing the other. The underrated Rick Stansbury of MSU totally out-classed DePaul's Jerry Wainwright. Look for Jerry Wainwright to be doing something else other than embarrassing Blue Demon fans next year. In fact, IsTonyGreenOnTheTake boldly predicts that Jerry Wainwright is dismissed before the end of this season.)

Don't Let The Team You Are Not Helping Get Back Into The Game

Following this rule, unbelievably, the first seven personal fouls of the second half were called on DePaul, and Mississippi State was able to extend its 20-point lead to 27, and with 14:21 to go in the game, the Bulldogs were in the bonus while yet to commit their first second-half foul.

It should be noted that this game was SO bad that even Brad Nessler and Jimmy Dykes were having a hard time keeping interested. By the second half, these guys were talking about ANYTHING other than the game, and it was tough to keep watching.

Mississippi State, behind a 9-1 second half foul discrepancy in its favor, extended its lead to 31 with 9 minutes to play, and the rout was on and the spread of 12 was easily in hand.

Mississippi State went on to win 76-45, easily covering the 12-point spread.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Game 18 - North Carolina @ Kentucky; Dec. 5, 2009

GAME - North Carolina @ Kentucky; Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009

LINE - Kentucky - 4

RESULT - Kentucky 68-66, North Carolina gets a backdoor cover

Tony Greene showed up in Rupp Arena in downtown Lexington, KY, today, to work the highly anticipated tilt between #10 North Carolina and #5 Kentucky.

With A Small Spread, Keep The Team You Are Helping Close Early

And by "early," Tony Greene apparently thought REALLY early. 2 seconds in and it was obvious where this game was headed, if Tony Greene had any say in it. Tony Greene tosses the ball up for the opening tap, Kentucky's John Wall is tripped (an "automatic call" according to CBS's Clark Kellogg) and Ted Valentine has to come from out of nowhere to make the call that Tony Greene was obviously eyeing, yet chose to ignore.

Three minutes later, UNC's Larry Drew II raises his arm to charge into UK's Eric Bledsoe and Tony Greene, never one to miss an opportunity, somehow calls Bledsoe for the block, Bledsoe's second foul.

Two minutes later, after two electrifying plays by Kentucky superstar John Wall cut Carolina's early 7-point lead to 3, Tony Greene looks RIGHT AT at obvious travel by UNC's Tyler Zeller and doesn't blow his whistle. Of course, Ted Valentine (NOT "on the take") instincively blows his whistle even though he's not the official on top of the play. The right call is made, in spite of Tony Greene's efforts.

Use Calls To Stop Momentum By The Team You Are Not Helping

After a 13-0 run stretches UK's lead to 6, Tony Greene senses the game getting away from him. Since UNC's Roy Williams often eschews time-outs to stop his opponent's momentum, Tony Greene must "call" one for him. Thus, 7 1/2 minutes into the game, Tony Greene calls Kentucky's Daniel Orton for some sort of foul when replays show CLEARLY that UNC's Tyler Zeller, battling Patterson for post position, elbows Orton. So far, there has been no game all season where Tony Greene's bias was more on display early than today.

But not even the questionable officiating of Tony Greene (note that Ted Valentine and Mike Eades appeared to be totally "on the level") could stop the Big Blue, and before Tony Greene knew what hit him,the UK lead was stretched to 19 and the rout appeared to be on. Even with North Carolina beginning to hit a few shots, Kentucky was able to take a 15-point lead into the locker room.

And then Tony Greene got a break. John Wall exited the game about a minute into the second half with some sort of leg injury, and North Carolina began a 10-0 run to cut the Kentucky lead to 7, well within striking distance of not only the spread but also the game itself. During the UNC run, Tony Greene was able to avoid an obvious foul call on North Carolina during a DeMarcus Cousins putback. Whereas Tony Greene was willing to call a phantom call on Kentucky in the first half in an attempt to stop a Kentucky run, he was unwilling to call an actual call on North Carolina that could have curtailed a UNC run during the second half. It's these sort sof obviously hypocritical double standards that made ITGOTT actually begin this blog.

When Things Are Going Your Way, Swallow Your Whistle

Even with John Wall on the bench, Kentucky was able to maintain its lead, which was 12 when Wall returned with just under 12 minutes to go in the game. But then a North Carolina run, uninterrupted by any calls, cut the Kentucky lead to 5, and everything - the spread AND the outcome - was back in play. With 8 minutes to play, Kentucky Patrick Patterson was obviously fouled on a drive into the lane, and Tony Greene stood by idly, even extending his arms to the side as the ball trickled out of bounds after the non-call as if to indicate, "I didn't see anything!" in a bad imitation of Sergeant Schultz from Hogan's Heroes.

Then with 5 1/2 minutes to play, Tony Greene looks right at Kentucky's DeMarcus Cousins being fouled on an offensive rebound attempt, and again swallows his whistle. North Carolina is able to continue to chip away at Kentucky's lead, and with 4 1/2 minute to go in the game, Kentucky's lead was only 3. And oh by the way, North Carolina, with the points, was now a successful "back door cover" on a Vegas bet, just like an official "on the take" for North Carolina would want.

Make The Big Call At The End

It's Better To Be Lucky Than Good

An official "on the take" who has to make a big call at the end of a game to ensure the game - or the spread - goes the way he wants has cut it pretty close. Sometimes the big call at the end comes to that official - as it did to Tony Greene three nights ago when he overruled a fellow official on a crucial charge/block call that helped Vanderbilt cover the spread against Missouri ( - and sometimes the potential big calls simply don't come to the official "on the take."

Today, the opportunity for the big call at the end didn't come to Tony Greene. With Kentucky up by 2 and with the ball inside of 35 seconds to play (so with no shot clock), North Carolina was forced to foul. Kentucky's Eric Bledsoe hit his free throws, and on the ensuing possession, Mike Eades was the official in position to declare that the ball bounced out of bounds after North Carolina touched it. UNC fouled again, Bledsoe hit a free throw to push the lead to 5, but a UNC tip with 7 seconds to go cut the lead to 3.

UNC was still forced to foul, and this time John Wall sank both free throws and pushed the lead to 5.

BUT... a meaningless three at the buzzer by North Carolina flips the spread. UK wins 68-66, and if you took North Carolina and the points, YOU WIN (just like it appeared all game that Tony Greene wanted)!!!

It's better to be lucky than good.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Game 17 - Elon @ Samford; Dec. 3, 2009

Another night, another non-televised game for Tony Greene.

So no review from ITGOTT.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Game 16 - Missouri @ Vanderbilt - Dec. 2, 2009

GAME - Missouri @ Vanderbilt; Wednesday, December 2, 2009

LINE - Vanderbilt - 3 1/2

RESULT - Vanderbilt covers, winning 89-83

Tony Greene popped up in Memorial Gymnasium on the campus of Vanderbilt University tonight, working his 16th college basketball game of the season and his first televised game in more than a week. ITGOTT was there to review his performance.

This was the most exciting game Tony Greene has worked all year, and he made a call with 22.2 second to go that almost certainly affected the betting outcome. More on that later.

If The Team You Are Helping Has Bigger Players, Let The Game Be More Physical

Vanderbilt had an enormous size advantage, with Mizzou missing two of its bigger players, and the first half was very physical. The officials let them play early, and Vandy streaked out early; Mizzou came back; then Vandy streaked again to enjoy a 6-point halftime lead.

Tony Greene went largely unnoticed early, but the other two officials - Les Jones and Pat Adams - made several calls that went AGAINST Vanderbilt, earning the ire of the Vandy crowd. A call that went against Vandy was made by an out-of-position Les Jones with 4:53 to go in the first half, and Vandy coach Kevin Stallings was not impressed.

A note on Les Jones: while this blog reviews Tony Greene's work, of course ITGOTT notices other officials. And tonight Les Jones was VERY noticeable. He seemed to be out of position, often trailing the play, all night. It was as if he was out of shape and unable to keep up with the action. And if he demonstrated a visible 10-second count once tonight, ITGOTT never saw it. Truly a bad performance.

When Things Are Going Your Way, Swallow Your Whistle

Missouri's shooting was so poor, and Vanderbilt's size advantage and rebounding so dominant (at games end, Vandy outrebounded Mizzou 45-24) that the Commodores slowly nudged their lead to double digits. With 5 1/2 minutes to play, Vanderbilt led by 14, easily covering the spread.

Use Calls To Stop Momentum Of The Team You Are Not Helping

But Missouri went to work and began hitting their shots and forcing repeated Vanderbilt turnovers. With momentum beginning to swing Missouri's way, Tony Greene steps in and makes a call with 3:54 to go sends Vandy to the line and they push their lead back to 4, where it remains until 2:30 to play. The spread is definitely in doubt, in either direction.

Make The Big Call At The End

The Charge/Block Call - It Can Always Go Either Way, So Make Sure It Goes Your Way

With Vandy clinging to a 3-point lead inside of a minute to play, no calls are made at all during frenetic segment with both teams battling, sttempting steals, making turnovers, etc. With 22 seconds to go and Mizzou STILL down three and with the ball, Mizzou guard JT Tiller drives to the hoop and his shot is swatted out of bounds.

Whistles blow. A foul is called. Tony Greene signals charge on Tiller, giving Vanderbilt the ball with a 3-point lead and 22 seconds to play. According to Jay Williams, working color commentary for ESPNU, Pat Adams signals a block on Vanderbilt, giving Tiller free throws.

Guess who wins this battle. Our man Tony Greene. Even though Jay Williams says clearly that the Vandy player was "moving" and the call should have been a block, Tony Greene prevails. Mizzou is forced to foul, and Vandy's free throws result in a 6-point win. Vandy covers the spread, and Tony Greene's big call with 22.2 seconds to go preserves that cover.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Game 15 - Louisiana-Lafayette @ LSU; December 1, 2009

December opens with a 5th consecutive non-televised game worked by Tony Greene.

So, as the pattern is becoming, Tony Greene toils in relative obscurity, and no review of his work is possible.

Just like a man "on the take" would like it.

Game 14 - Troy @ Georgia Southern; November 29, 2009

For the fourth consecutive game, Tony Greene worked untelevised action. This time, it was when Troy visited Georgia Southern in Statesboro, GA. The game was won 80-77 by the homestanding Georgia Southern ballclub, so apparently ITGOTT missed exciting action by not being in the building.

Thus, Tony Greene's work, for the fourth consecutive game, cannot be reviewed.

Game 13 - Rhode Island @ Davidson; November 28, 2009

Tony Greene was back in Davidson, NC, on Saturday, November 28, 2009, working the game between Rhode Island and Davidson.

This game was not televised, and although Davidson, NC, is a lovely burg, ITGOTT wasn't in the gymnasium, so we cannot review Tony Greene's work for the game.

Game 12 - Florida Atlantic @ South Florida; Nov. 27, 2009

Well, ITGOTT was wrong in our prediction that Tony Greene would turn up at the Old Spice Classic in Orlando.

Apparently avoiding all those pesky multi-team pre-conference tournaments, Tony Greene worked the Florida Atlantic at South Florida game on Friday, November 29, 2009.

The game was not televised, so we are unable to comment on Tony Greene's officiating.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Game 11 - Fredonia State @ Davidson; Nov. 25, 2009

Davidson, NC, is a lovely, quaint little town just north of Charlotte.

It's also where Tony Greene officiated last night, in a totally irrelevant game between Fredonia State and Davidson. No televison, obviously, so no review from ITGOTT.

ITGOTT predict that Tony Greene will be in Orlando this weekend, officiating games at the Old Spice Classic tournament.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Interesting comments on Karl Hess by Sean McDonough on ESPN

During tonight's Maui Classic 5th place game between Vanderbilt and Arizona, Karl Hess called a bizarre technical foul on Arizona coach Sean Miller while Vanderbilt held a scant 2-point lead with about 6 minutes to play. Miller appeared to be simply calling for a "three-second call" on Vanderbilt, and spent much of the rest of the game claiming this to the officiating crew.

Vanderbilt, a 5-point favorite, used the momentum generated by that technical foul call to pull away and secure a 12-point victory, covering the spread.

ESPN play-by-play man Sean McDonough, working with Bill Raftery and Jay Bilas, excoriated Karl Hess for injecting himself into the game, apparently something McDonough feels is unnecessary from college basketball officials. McDonough identified that Hess has a tendency to do this and called Hess's actions "unfortunate." Further, McDonough piled on as Hess explained some call to Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings, going so far as to say something like "and here comes Karl Hess now, injecting himself into the game even more as he approaches the press table."

Karl Hess appears to be a thin-skinned guy who rubs everyone the wrong way, and McDonough simply pointed out, by name, an official with a prima donna temperament and a need to control others when they balk.

Later, with the game securely in hand and the spread no longer close, another official called a terrible foul call on a clean block by Vanderbilt's AJ Ogilvy. Both Bill Raftery and Jay Bilas began piling on, but never naming the official, about how NBA referees are full-time refs and college officials are not. Further, Bilas espoused the theory that, since NBA referees are quicker to eject complaining coaches, more decorum exists in the NBA game and college coaches are too "demonstrative." Not sure whether we agree with this at ITGOTT, but we like that two respected ESPN analysts such as Raftery and Bilas were willing to discuss the officiating in a negative light.

But what we really like here at ITGOTT is that Sean McDonough singled out Karl Hess for his need to inject himself into the flow of the game, thus drawing attention to himself. McDonough is exactly right - watch how Karl Hess finds a way to be in the spotlight as the season progresses.

And while you're at it, watch to see if Karl Hess might be on the take. His technical foul call tonight definitely helped Vanderbilt cover the spread.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Game 10 - Florida State @ Florida; Nov. 24, 2009

GAME: Florida State @ Florida; Gainesville, FL; Tuesday, November 24, 2009

LINE: Florida -2 1/2

RESULT: Florida covers, winning 68-52

Just like Huey Lewis and the News, Tony Greene apparently needed a "couple days off." ITGOTT half expected to see Tony Greene turn up in one of the pre-conference tournaments like Maui or Cancun after his brief respite, but instead he turned up officiating a vanilla inter-conference, intra-state match-up in Gainesville, FL.

Perhaps the most easily followed adage ITGOTT can imagine for an official “on the take” is:

When Things Are Going Your Way, Swallow Your Whistle

With just a 2 ½ point spread favoring the home-standing Gators, it was easy to imagine the crowd getting behind their team vs. their rivals, and momentum swinging strongly toward the Florida side. And it did.

Of course, they had to have a little help from the men in stripes.

Get Major Players On The Team You Are Not Helping In Early Foul Trouble

Florida State's Chris Singleton scored his team's first 10 points, and Florida State led 10-8. Then the officials intervened, and called two quick fouls on Singleton, neutering him for the rest of the half. But back to the overall theme.

As soon as the game began tonight, Florida State began making turnovers. And more turnovers. And more turnovers. And tonight’s officiating crew of Tony Greene, Mike Kitts, and Ted Valentine certainly weren’t going to step in and call a hand check or something away from the ball to stop the carnage. They had a lot of opportunities, what with physical play on both ends resulting in 16 Florida State turnovers in the first half, but they only called 7 total fouls during a lightning fast half of basketball (only 3 on Florida).

An 11-0 Florida run, uninterrupted by any calls, broke open the game early and Florida eventually took a huge 20-point lead into the halftime break.

With the 2 ½ point spread easily covered, this game could simply have been a matter of running out the clock. But with Singleton back in the game, and playing aggressively, the Seminoles cut the lead to 12 within the first 5 minutes of the second half and all the way down to a 5-point lead with 12 minutes to play.

The Charge/Block Call - It Can Always Go Either Way, So Make Sure It Goes Your Way

Use Calls To Stop Momentum Of The Team You Are Not Helping

So the men in stripes stepped in, with Ted Valentine calling a key charge call on FSU as they drove for a bucket that would have cut the lead to 3, and then with Mike Kitts calling a push on a Florida player as he snagged a key rebound. These two calls definitely changed the momentum of the game, and the ensuing 6-0 Florida run pushed the lead to double digits.

Then Ted Valentine called Chris Singleton's third call on a great block that should have been a no-call. Even the TV commentators called this a "late call by Ted Valentine" and additionally said that Florida was the "beneficiary" of said call. Tack on a free throw and another bucket, and the Florida lead was back to 14. Then tack on yet another bucket and one, and Florida's 12-0 run after the momentum-changing charge-block call extended the Gator lead to 17. Florida maintained this advantage for the last 7 minutes and went on to win by 16, 68-52.

A stat fact: in the first half, with Florida pulling away, the officials made only 7 total foul calls (4 on FSU, 3 on Florida). In the second half, with Florida State making a run to threaten the spread, the officials asserted themselves much more and made an unbelieveable 24 total foul calls (14 on Florida State, 10 on Florida). And Florida's cover of the spread, in fact, was preserved.

What's interesting here is that Tony Greene wasn't involved in any of the calls we detailed, which stopped Florida State's second-half momentum and sealed up the cover for Florida. Is anyone else on the take? Perhaps multiple officials in cahoots? We'll see how many more games involve both Tony Greene and Ted Valentine or both Tony Greene and Mike Kitts, but ITGOTT can only effort to monitor Tony Greene completely (and undoubtedly we'll miss a few games as the season unfolds).

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Game 9 - Florida State @ Mercer - Nov. 21, 2009

Tony Greene worked his 9th game of the 2009-2010 basketball season this afternoon in Macon, GA. The ACC's Florida State Seminoles traveled to Macon to play the Mercer Bears of the Atlantic Sun Conference. There was an obvious talent differential in this game, with Florida State just being much larger, much faster, and much more talented than Mercer.

ITGOTT couldn't find a betting line on the Mercer-Florida State game anywhere, so a review of Tony Greene's officiating in that light is sort of pointless.

However, there were two officiating trends that ITGOTT noticed, both of which are possible strategies used by an official "on the take."

If The Team You Are Helping Has Bigger Players, Let The Game Be More Physical

This was certainly the case today, as Florida State was just MUCH larger than Mercer. Early on, the play was very, very physical, and Florida State was blocking shot after Mercer shot inside the three-point arc. Pretty quickly, a 6-4 Mercer lead turned into a 21-7 Florida State advantage, and the Seminoles had a commanding lead early. In addition, the physical play allowed by the officials seemed to rattle Mercer, and they were unable to hit many shots at all; the TV commentators repeatedly claimed that "the size of Florida State is intimidating." Had the play been called tight, for example, early on, clearly Mercer would have been favored, but this was not the case.

If You Are Favoring A Heavy Road Favorite, Don't Let The Home Team's Fans Get Into The Game And Motivate Their Team

Mercer has a history of upsetting major conference teams, and this was perhaps their most obvious chance to do that in recent memory. An NCAA-tournament team in Florida State comes to Mercer's little on-campus gym on Homecoming weekend... the game had been sold out for a while... just a LITTLE run by the Mercer Bears could have resulted in a flood of emotion from the partisan crowd. Instead, there was no emotion at all from the crowd, and the Florida State rout was on. Florida State eventually won 89-50.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Game 8 - Syracuse vs. North Carolina - Nov. 20, 2009

GAME - Syracuse vs. North Carolina in New York, NY; Friday, November 20, 2009

LINE - North Carolina -1

RESULT - Syracuse covers, winning 87-71

Tony Greene's 8th officiating outing of the 2009-2010 basketball season occurred tonight in the finals of the 2K Sports Classic in New York City. Since he worked last night's semi-finals, ITGOTT was confident he would be working either the championship or consolation tonight, and we were prepared to watch closely.

North Carolina, according to the Las Vegas Hilton Sportsbook, was a 1 point favorite in this match-up. The game opened as a pick-em, so there wasn't a lot of movement of the line.

With A Small Spread, Keep The Team You Are Helping Close Early

Use Calls To Stop Momentum Of The Team You Are Not Helping

Get Major Players On The Team You Are Not Helping In Early Foul Trouble

The game opened with a quick Syracuse run, as they pretty efficiently (and without any close calls) opened an 8-0 lead in the first 3 minutes. Tony Greene then asserted himself, calling a very questionable blocking call on Syracuse's Andy Rautins as North Carolina's Will Graves lowered his shoulder driving to the hoop. Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim was incensed, and after North Carolina took a 13-11 lead on an "and one" by Ed Davis with 15 minutes to go, the early momentum that Syracuse had was totally evaporated... and it all started on that questionable blocking call on Andy Rautins.

This call served two masters: 1. The call stopped Syracuse's early momentum, preventing them from running away with the game. 2. The call put an early foul a good Syracuse player, Andy Rautins. When Rautins was called for a legitimate charge with 16 minutes to go, he was thusly in early foul trouble. Getting a star in early foul trouble is a great strategy for officials who may be on the take, and Tony Greene did this without even making the second call, made by the execrable Mike Stuart when Rautins legitimately charged!

(Note: Mike Stuart's absurd histrionics in making that call with 15:55 to go in the first half - blowing the whistle multiple times to draw attention to himself before making his indication, and then running in to flamboyantly point at Rautins, laying supine in the lane, is VERY bad officiating form. Stuart should know better, and this peacock-esque preening for attention not only has no place in college basketball, it should cost him post-season assignments if he continues to do it throughout the season. Consider yourself warned Mike Stuart: ITGOTT will have its eyes on you, too, from now on.)

With 14:11 to go, Tony Greene called a second foul on Syracuse's Wesley Johnson, meaning that TWO Syracuse stars were now in early foul trouble.

Use Calls To Stop Momentum By The Team You Are Not Helping

Syracuse went on another quick run, with Rautins and Johnson each draining threes, to take a 10 point lead midway through the first half. But Tony Greene went to work again, first giving a 50/50 ball out-of-bounds under the North Carolina basket to Syracuse, then calling a cheap foul on Syracuse that ESPN's Dan Shulman actually called a "late whistle" and that Shulman also said had "incensed" Jim Boeheim. The subsequent North Carolina run, uninterrupted by Tony Greene, erased the Syracuse lead and the Tar Heels actually led by 2 at the half.

For clarification, North Carolina attempted 15 free throws in the first half; Syracuse only attempted 4.

The second half began with a quick Syracuse spurt, and within 90 seconds, that 2 point North Carolina halftime lead became a 4-point Syracuse advantage, which the Orange extended to 12 following an "and one" call, made by Roger Ayers, on North Carolina about 6 minutes into the second half. Having stopped Syracuse's momentum twice in the first half, it appeared now that a Syracuse rout was inevitable.

As Kenny Rogers Said, "Know When To Fold 'Em" and Swallow The Whistle

Syracuse's 22-1 run to open the second half made it totally clear that this was not the Tar Heels' night. The Tar Heels didn't make a single shot until 8 minutes into the second half, they made repeated turnovers, and they were absolutely out of the game before the second half reached its midway point. Even though the Tar Heels made a brief run to cut the Orange lead to single digits, Syracuse pulled away to win by 16, 87-71.

There is no way to know whether Tony Greene is "on the take" or not. But ITGOTT noticed odd officiating patterns by Greene during the 2008-2009 season, and has chosen to monitor his games throughout the 2009-2010 campaign, seeing how many calls he makes that fit the profile of an official as we'd imagine if that official were "on the take." Tony Greene didn't make any calls to help Syracuse tonight, but he did make a few early calls that helped North Carolina - attempts to stop Syracuse momentum, early fouls on Syracuse stars, etc. But tonight was clearly not North Carolina's night, and additional questionable calls to stop more Syracuse momentum could only draw attention to Tony Greene, and if he were "on the take", the last thing he would want is attention.

So, as Kenny Rogers said, "Know when to fold 'em." When you're an official "on the take", sometimes there is just no helping a team cover the spread, so just throw in the towel and be comfortable in the knowledge that you can only turn the tables so often and you did your best.

Perhaps that's what we saw tonight.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Game 7 - Syracuse v. California - Nov. 19, 2009

GAME - Syracuse vs. California in New York, NY; Thursday, November 19, 2009

LINE - California -2

RESULT - Syracuse covers as an underdog, winning by 22

Tony Greene worked his 7th game of the year tonight, but only his second televised game of the year. Thus, this is ITGOTT's second opportunity to monitor Tony Greene's officiating.

The game, part of the 2K Sports Coaches vs. Cancer Classic from Madison Square Garden in New York City, featured two ranked teams - perhaps Tony Greene's highest profile game of the short season. The game, which opened as a pick'em (no favorite), went off with Cal as a 2 point favorite according to the Las Vegas Hilton Sportsbook. Officiating a game with a short spread, like this game, is very different than officiating a game with a large spread for an official who might be "on the take."

With A Small Spread, Keep The Team You Are Helping Close Early

With a short spread like tonight's game, an official "on the take" has more options. First, he could work to keep the team he's not favoring from running away early, counting on his ability to make close calls at the end, thus helping the team he's favoring as time winds down. Sometimes just "keeping it close" early may result in the team he's expected to help gain some momentum, and build themselves a lead that helps them cover the small spread.

If The Team You Are Helping Is Doing Well On Their Own, Lay Low

Additionally, an official "on the take" could help the team he's helping to build an early lead, then let the game progress pretty uneventfully with that large lead maintained throughout the game and the team covering its short spread.

This game provides an example of how both of these scenarios could happen in the same game.

Early in tonight's matchup, California streaked to a 5-0 lead, but the officials appeared to want to stop that runaway from happening. A few early calls went against Cal, and Syracuse reversed course to turn that 5-point early deficit into a 13-point lead. Pretty quickly, Cal was in foul trouble and Syracuse was not. As an example of this discrepancy, Syracuse shot 11 free throws (as a typical Syracuse team, they only made 6), before Cal went to the line even once. With that kind of early free throw differential, Tony Greene and his officiating colleagues (Bernard Clinton and Roger Ayers) were able to see Syracuse build a big lead, something an official "on the take" for Syracuse would want to happen.

After Syracuse built its lead, the half wound down with little change in the margin and little noise from the officials, and Syracuse took an 11-point lead to the locker room. An uneventful end of the first half.

In an uneventful second half, Syracuse extended its 11-point halftime lead organically (with no apparent officiating help), to 19 with about 13 minutes to go.

With The Spread Easily Covered, Make Calls Favoring the OTHER Team To Draw Attention Away From Yourself

At one point, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim was yelling about a call at Tony Greene, but with a 19 point lead for the 2 point underdog, an official on the take for Syracuse can afford to make a couple of close ones go against the Orange, which could draw attention away from his bias, if it existed.

The remainder of the game was simply an exercise in Syracuse running out the clock. Even with a brief Cal run in the final minutes, the final score was 95-73, and all the while, the officials laid low.


There is never any way to know if officials are "on the take", but from early on in this game, it's clear that if these officials, including Tony Greene, WERE on the take, they were favoring Syracuse. Cal spurted early, and foul trouble stopped them. Syracuse extended its lead, and the officials never stopped their momentum. And once Syracuse had the game (and spread) in hand, the officials laid low, except for one call AGAINST Syracuse that got the ire of Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim. Lots of "on the take" rules were followed here, whether intentionally or not, and Syracuse easily covered the spread, their 22 point victory meaning that the 2-point underdogs covered the spread by 24 points.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Game 6 - Stetson vs. Florida State - Nov. 18, 2009

Well, Tony Greene worked his 6th game of the season tonight, a thrilling tilt between Stetson and Florida State in Tallahassee, FL. Florida State trounced Stetson, 80-38.

And for the 5th time in 6 games, Tony Greene's game was not televised. Unless you were in the arena in Tallahassee, which ITGOTT was not, you can't review Tony Greene's work.

On to Game #7, presumably tomorrow night.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Game 5 - Western Kentucky v. LSU - Nov. 17

Tony Greene worked his fifth game of the year tonight, a non-televised tilt between LSU and Western Kentucky.

This is the 4th non-televised game in 5 games Tony Greene has worked this season. And undoubtedly we will miss some of his televised games here at ITGOTT, but when 80% of his games are not televised, it's difficult for an outsider to review his work.

On to tomorrow night's games!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Game 4 - Alabama State v. Mississippi - Nov. 16

Tony Greene worked the Alabama State vs Mississippi game tonight in Oxford, MS.

The game was not televised, so a review of Tony Greene's work is not possible for ITGOTT.

Game 2: Elon v. Lipscomb - Nov 14, 2009

Tony Greene worked the Elon vs. Lipscomb game from Nashville, TN, on Saturday, November 14.

This game was not televised, nor is ITGOTT aware of any line on this game.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Game 3: Tony Greene works East Carolina-Wake Forest - Sunday, Nov. 15

GAME: East Carolina vs. Wake Forest at Greensboro, NC; Sunday, November 15, 2009

LINE: Wake Forest -16 1/2

RESULT: Wake Forest covers, winning by 31

Tony Greene worked his third game of the 2009-2010 college basketball season today in a match-up of East Carolina and Wake Forest from the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, NC.

Although technically a home game for East Carolina, there were very few fans of either team in the venue, which is much closer to Wake Forest's campus in Winston-Salem, NC, than it is to East Carolina's campus in Greenville, NC. Those are the things "mid-majors" must do to get big-time teams to play them; the mid-major has to agree to play it's "home" game in a "neutral" location that favors the big-time team.

It is important to note the betting line for today's game. Wake Forest opened as a 9 1/2 point favorite, yet at game time, the Demon Deacons were 16 point favorites. In other words, so much money came in on Wake Forest that casinos had to adjust their line by a whopping 6 1/2 points, trying to entice bettors to bet on East Carolina. For a point of reference, there was no other line in today's college basketball games that moved as much - apparently, there was a disproportionate amount of money on Wake Forest.

During the game, it was obvious that Wake Forest was the better team. 16 points better? Maybe, maybe not. But it seemed to ITGOTT that the officials, including Tony Greene, were intent on allowing Wake Forest, clearly a bigger and stronger team, to be must more physical on the defensive end than they were allowing East Carolina. (Note: the other officials were Mike Stuart and Les Jones).

This was so egregious to East Carolina coach Mack McCarthy that he actually received a technical foul during halftime. His protests of some no-calls on Wake Forest's defense earned him the ire of the officiating crew, and thus a technical foul call. ITGOTT always notes technical fouls on coaches for protesting calls, because we believe an official "on the take" could easily use a technical foul as a TRIPLE whammy, favoring the team he needs to cover.

The technical foul triple whammy:

First, the technical foul silences the coach of the team being cheated. Fearing getting a second technical foul and being ejected, the coach is likely to protest LESS after the technical foul, thus drawing less attention to the official on the take.

Second, it gives "free" points to the team being helped. In a game where the outcome is not in doubt but the point spread is, a couple of free points here and there can go totally unnoticed by everyone other than bettors.

Third, officials are most likely to assess technical fouls when their integrity is questioned. All officials know they will miss calls here and there, and usually are OK with coaches yelling at them about that. But question their integrity? Officials are much more likely to be offended by this if they really ARE on the take, don't you think?

During the early portion of the second half, Wake Forest extended its lead to 28 points, but a spurt by East Carolina, aided by several three pointers, pulled the lead back to 20 points. The point spread was threatened, and on two of the next three East Carolina offensive possessions, obvious fouls on Wake Forest were ignored by Tony Greene. As the TV commentators pointed out that Wake Forest was pulling away, a shot of an incredulous East Carolina coach Mack McCarthy lingered on the TV screen. Apparently afraid to questions the officials, perhaps due to the technical he received at halftime, Coach McCarthy stood silently bemused, appearing to be defeated by not only the superior talent of the Demon Deacons but also the officiating crew.

(Note: Mike Stuart also contributed to the Wake Forest run, calling a three-second call on an East Carolina offensive possession.)

It should be noted that, with 13:17 left in the game, a shot by East Carolina that was "clearly tipped", according to the commentators, out of bounds by Wake Forest was ruled to be Wake Forest's ball. "All three officials clearly missed that one," the commentators said, "Mack McCarthy can't even get the officials to meet to talk about it." Wake Forest scored on the ensuing possession to increase its lead to nearly 30, safely above the 16 1/2 point spread. It should be noted that refusing to work as an officiating team could be an easy tactic for an official on the take, preferring to stick to what HE claims he saw rather than asking his fellow officials for help in case he missed something.

An official on the take dealing with a large spread needs to be careful to get the spread "covered" before the end of the game. As in many games with large spreads, Wake Forest coach Dino Gaudio was unconcerned with the spread and spent the last 10 minutes of the game getting playing time for his reserves. As such, the 30 point deficit Wake Forest obtained with about 10 minutes to go was steady until the end of the game, which Wake Forest won by 31, easily covering the 16 1/2 point spread.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Game 1: Tony Greene works Georgia-New Orleans - Fri, Nov. 13

Tony Greene worked his first game of the year tonight, working a game at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens. The Georgia Bulldogs defeated the New Orleans Privateers 67-59.

Georgia was a 15 1/2 point favorite, so the Privateers achieved a back-door cover in this game.

Since this game was not televised, ITGOTT can't review Tony Greene's work.

Was anyone at the game in Athens? Were there any suspicious Tony Greene calls that might have favored the eventual money winner, the University of New Orleans?

On to Game 2...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The 2009-2010 college basketball season is here! (No Tony Greene sightings yet...)

Official games began on Monday, November 9, and so far, there have been 7 games played.

4 games were played Monday, November 9; 3 games were played Wednesday, November 11. And 2 games (James Madison visiting Ohio State and Georgia State visiting North Carolina State) will be played tonight. While it's unlikely Tony Greene will be in Value City arena tonight, ITGOTT will be watching nonetheless! The NC State-GA State game, a Tony Greene possibility, will not be televised.

So far, there have been no Tony Greene sightings. Some ITGOTT favorites - Mike Littlewood, Bernard Clinton, and Dick Cartmell - have been seen blowing the whistle, as well as another official ITGOTT thinks doesn't belong working at the D-1 level (Raymie Styons).

But our man Tony Greene? He will almost certainly get his first action tomorrow night when there are no fewer than 126 Division 1 games! Where will Tony Greene be? We don't know, but hopefully the game he works will be televised so we will be able to monitor him.

Stay tuned...

Monday, March 23, 2009

First post!

College basketball official Tony Greene makes some VERY questionable calls.

Is he on the take?

Please post instances you see where you think Tony Greene is making calls because of something OTHER than what's occurring on the court.