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.

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