Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Game 14 - #9 Missouri vs #16 Georgetown in Kansas City, MO

Game - #9 Missouri vs. #16 Georgetown in Kansas City, MO

Line - Pick 'Em

Result - Georgetown wins 111-102 in OT in a GREAT game

Great game between two great teams - one of which, Georgetown, is an ITGOTT favorite - that saw the Hoyas get way up early, blow the lead and be nearly beat, only to hit a last second three to tie at the end of regulation and then drain threes to win easily in overtime.

However, there was one VERY VERY suspicious call in this game... a call that almost certainly made a difference in the outcome of the game. And it occurred in the first half... and it was a 100& correctable error that went uncorrected.

With less than a minute left in the first half, Georgetown had the ball as the shot clock wound down. Even though the shot clock clearly expired before a Hoya got a shot off, the post-shot clock three-point attempt hit nothing but net, and the Hoyas were awarded three points that should NOT have counted. Without any question, replay showed that the shot clock had expired before the ball left the shooter's hand. (Note: ESPN's Dan McLaughlin and the unethical Doug Gottleib pointed out that the arena was perhaps too noisy to HEAR the shot clock expiration indicator in real tim).

But the officials, despite the protests from Mizzou's coach Mike Anderson, refused to review the play. And there was indisuputable visual evidence of a shot clock expiration.

Three points fewer, and presumably, this game never goes into overtime. Missouri wins by 3, and Missouri bettors win also. Instead, Georgetown, and those who placed wagers on Georgetown, are winners tonight.

PREDICTION: there will be an official apology for the refusal by the officiating crew of "Hollywood" John Higgins, Tony Greene, and James Breeding to review the replay of the obvious shot clock violation. Since the officials assigned to tonight's game were presumably assigned by the Big East (visiting team usually provides officials in out-of-conference games, and Missouri was the technical host in Kansas City - and the three officials, "Hollywood" John Higgins, Tony Greene, and James Breeding, are usually Big East officials), even a suspension is not out of the question. Remember, it was the Big East who suspended 2009 Official of the Year Mike Kitts during the 2009-2010 season... so wouldn't it make sense for 2010 Official of the Year Tony Greene to serve a suspension during the 2010-2011 season?


Friday, November 19, 2010

Game #6 - North Carolina State v. George Mason from Charleston, SC - Nov. 19, 2010

Game - North Carolina State v. George Mason from Charleston, SC - Friday, November 19, 2010

Line - NC State -3

Result - NC State wins 78-65 and covers.

When The Team You Are Helping Is Playing Aggressive Defense, Swallow Your Whistle

With NC State as a 3-point favorite, the game stayed near that mark for the first 15 minutes of the game. However, when George Mason had a 3-point lead at 28-25, NC State began a run of play uninterrupted by any calls against the Wolfpack, their aggressive D creating turnovers and their team scoring in transition to change a 3-point deficit into a 10-point lead, covering the spread.

After a brief George Mason run to begin the second half reduced the NC State lead to 3, exactly on the spread line, the game was a back-and-forth affair of great basketball.

Swallow Your Whistle When Things Are Going Your Way

It was also uninterrupted as NC State went on a 12-0 run to take a 10-point lead with 6 minutes to go. Apparent hand-checks on NC State went ignored, and the clearly more athletic team, the NC State Wolf Pack, were able to build a lead during this period. The only two fouls called during this period was on George Mason, of course.

NC State continued to just extend that lead with no fouls called on them, and by the 4-minute mark, the Wolfpack were in control of the game, if not the spread, and enjoying a 15-point lead.

There wasn't a single foul called on NC State from 13 minutes to play until 30 seconds to play, an unbelievable 12 1/2-minute foul-free period which included their entire end-of-game run. Naturally, the Wolfpack were able to turn a tie game with 10 minutes to play into a blowout that covered the 3-point spread, 78-65.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Game 5 - #20 Georgetown vs. Coastal Carolina from Charleston, SC

Game - #20 Georgetown vs. Coastal Carolina from Charleston, SC

Line - Georgetown -14

Result - Georgetown wins 80-61, and covers the 14-point spread

Tony Greene is finally working a televised game with a spread, this time in the Opening Round of the Charleston Classic tournament from Charleston, SC. Working with James Breeding (an ITGOTT favorite) and TV Teddy Valentine (who Nate Ross points out lives in the Charleston area), Tony Greene began his reviewable 2010-2011 work with a game that saw Georgetown as a big favorite, favored by 14 points.

During the first half, the game appeared to be allowed to unfold organically, and Georgetown slowly built a lead using its skill and size - Georgetown is going to be bigger than nearly all of its opponents this year and looks to make noise in the Big East under the excellent leadership of John Thompson III - and the Hoyas took a 6-point lead into the locker room. Nearly halfway to the 14-point spread, the spread of this game (if not the game itself) would be decided in the second half.

Make The Big Judgment Call In Favor Of The Team You Are Helping

Coastal Carolina, led by former Auburn coach Cliff Ellis, had shown some inspired play with tenacious defense at the end of the first half and some enthusiasm to begin the second half. Not one to let a tenacious underdog stick around while ostensibly aiding the favorite toward a cover, Tony Greene and his crew took over just 2 1/2 minutes into the second half when a Georgetown player drove to the hoop and was fouled. Even though official James Breeding made the blocking call against the Coastal Carolina player well before Hoya Jason Clark scored, when Tony Greene administered the free throw, he indicated that Clark would only shoot one... that the basket counted. A conference occurred, and guess which official's opinion ruled. Yep, that of Tony Greene, and the Hoyas were awarded a bucket "and one" free throw.

Of course, this call is followed up within a couple minutes of on-court action by Tony Greene with the phantom moving screen against Coastal Carolina. The 6-point halftime lead Georgetown enjoyed, just 4 minutes into the second half, had been extended to 12 at 41-29 and was nearing the 14-point spread.

Sure enough, the Hoyas had the momentum and quickly spread its lead to 18, at 51-33, with 13 1/2 minutes to go, and despite a brief Coastal Carolina run, the Hoyas managed to keep the lead at about 18 point for the remainder of the game, ultimately winning 80-61 and safely covering the 14-point spread.


When Georgetown was clearly winning the game in the second half, but not by enough to cover the 14-point spread, the officiating crew, led by Tony Greene, made two big judgment calls in a row that favored the Hoyas, and the lead was extended beyond the spread. With just these two calls, a 10-point game became a 20-point game, and the Hoyas covered the spread, winning 80-61. Interesting how these things happen, isn't it?


Game 4 - VCU @ Wake Forest - Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010

VCU took Wake Forest to the woodshed 90-69 in a non-televised game from Winston-Salem, NC.

Wake Forest is off to a bad start - first-year coach Jeff Bzdelik has now lost at home to Stetson in his opener and failed to reach the Pre-season NIT semi-finals at Madison Square Garden by getting blown out at home by VCU.

But, no Tony Greene review possible with no TV.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Game 3 - St. Francis (NY) @ South Florida - Nov. 15, 2010

For the first time during the 2010-2011 season, Tony Greene worked a televised game.

However, there was no betting line for this game, so there is no need for ITGOTT to review the 74-71 South Florida victory over St. Francis (NY).

That being said, ITGOTT will make this prediction: South Florida coach Stan Heath better be working on his resume. We just don't think he's going to cut it in the Big East.

Game 2 - Talladega @ Alabama A&M - Nov. 13, 2010

Proving that he will work any game at any time, Tony Greene worked his second game of the 2010-2011 season Saturday in Normal, IL (and, yes, we had to look up where Alabama A&M was located).

The game featured Alabama A&M beating Talladega College 93-77, and was of course, not televised.

Game 1 - Northwestern State @ LSU - Nov. 12, 2010

Tony Greene's first NCAA Division 1 game of the 2010-2011 season occurred on Friday night in Baton Rouge, LA.

Working with Bert Smith (one of ITGOTT's favorite officials, and one that ITGOTT thinks does the best job), Tony Greene officiated a 9-point, 87-78 LSU victory.

There was no television for this game, so there will be no ITGOTT review.

Tony Greene Named 2009-2010 National Official of the Year


Yes, it's true. The bane of the existence of IsTonyGreeneOnTheTake, Mr. Tony Greene himself, was named the 2010-2011 Naismith Men's College Official of the Year by the Atlanta TipOff Club.

Supposedly, this award is given to officials display "character, integrity, and dignity, and who have contributed mightily to the growth, success, and viability of college basketball." Yeah, right. Since the award was first given in 1988, it has gone to a different official EVERY SINGLE YEAR and no one has won it twice. Thus, this is much more an award of longevity and "who hasn't won it yet" than it is anything to do with officiating, dignity, character, or any other nebulus characteristic that can be used to describe anyone who hasn't been indicted.

In reality, it is likely that the awarding of the Naismith Official of the Year title, much like the game assignments for NCAA Division 1 officials, is mysterious and left to a cadre of fuzzy folks who enjoy basketball and are part of the Atlanta Tipoff Club.. Further, it is likely that this award is as much (or more) about politics than it is about actual officiating ability, just like game assignments. As such, it can't be too much of a surprise that the Atlanta Tip-Off Club named Tony Greene its Official of the Year for 2009-2010, considering that Tony Greene lives in the Atlanta area, does 60+ games a year, many of them on TV, and has been around for many years... and has never won the award before.

But what is the history of this award? Well, there is really only one thing that needs to be explained.

The 2008-2009 winner of this award, Mike Kitts, was the reigining award winner when he was suspended by his primary conference, the Big East, for poor officiating during February of this year: http://istonygreeneonthetake.blogspot.com/2010/02/mike-kitts-suspended-by-big-east-for.html

Clearly, the Atlanta Tip-Off Club doesn't know the first thing about quality officiating, since its most recent winner was ACTUALLY SUSPENDED for POOR OFFICIATING !!! Perhaps the Atlanta Tip-Off Club names winners based on on-court preening and multiple high-profile assignments rather than effective officiating and quality game management. Could Ted Valentine follow Tony Greene as the club's absurd award winner, if this is the criteria?

Oh wait. TV Teddy already WON this award, apparently, in 2005. Notably, Larry Rose won the award in 2002, just a few years before he was DEMOTED from ACC assignments by new ACC Supervisor of Officials John Clougherty, himself a 1989 Award Winner.

Since the award apparently goes to a visible official who has never won it before, ITGOTT nominates David Hall for the 2010-2011 award. But since it apparently ALSO goes to an official who works primiarly in the south or east, we predict the 2010-2011 award winner will be one of these three folks: Karl Hess, Tom O'Neill, or Mike Stuart.

Additionally, if history is any guide, look for Tony Greene to be suspended this season due to his officiating. As we are sure you know, this wouldn't surprise us.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Game 64 - Miami (FL) @ North Carolina - Mar. 2, 2010

Game - Miami (FL) @ North Carolina - Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Line - North Carolina -5

Result - North Carolina wins 69-62, covering the 5-point spread

Tony Greene worked his 64th Division 1 game of the 2009-2010 season tonight when he was in Chapel Hill, NC, for the match-up between the Miami Hurricans and the North Carolina Tar Heels. North Carolina entered the game as a 5-point favorite, according to the Las Vegas Hilton. Early on it seemed like Tony Greene must have had dinner reservations at one of the Triangle's finer restaurants (Magnolia Grill in Durham, perhaps?) as ITGOTT seriously didn't notice him making calls one way or the other. There certainly didn't seem to be any questionable calls that could have been interpreted as an attempt to influence the spread. As for the game itself, which is one of the most boring and irrelevant games ITGOTT has reviewed all year long, see below.

Make The Big Calls At The End

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

After 35 minutes of excitement-free basketball and minimal officiating, North Carolina led by 5 points - EXACTLY the spread - with 5 minutes to play. Then came a charge/block call, only the second one ITGOTT noticed the entire game (a stark contrast to Saturday's Tony Greene game, in which there were 8 or 9 charge/block calls). Tony Greene made a blocking call against Miami's Reggie Johnson (his fifth foul) as North Carolina's John Henson careened into the lane.

Even though the Hurricanes drained a couple of threes and cut the lead to one, it was the Tar Heels who executed at the end, getting a couple of key offensive rebounds and converting some second chance points.

Still, with just one minute to go, the Tar Heel lead was four - within one point of the 5-point spread. After Miami scored with 38 seconds to go, the officials step in to call a ticky-tack foul on Miami's Durand Scott 75 feet from the basket and send North Carolina's Will Graves to the line. The free throws push the Tar Heel lead to 4. After Miami missed an ill-advised, rushed three-point attempts, the Hurricanes were forced to foul. The Tar Heels converted their free throws during the last 30 seconds of the game and were able to win 69-62, barely covering the 5-point spread


In a game where the spread (not the outcome) came down to whether Miami could hit late shots and North Carolina made late free throws as Miami intentionally fouled, it would be tough to see that the officiating affected the spread. Nonetheless, ITGOTT was dedicated and watched a March regular season match-up of ACC bottom-feeders. Aren't we dedicated?

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mike Kitts Suspended By Big East For Poor Officiating

Mike Kitts, who worked yesterday's "On The Take" Alert game with Tony Greene and Doug Sirmons (http://istonygreeneonthetake.blogspot.com/2010/02/game-63-2-kentucky-19-tennessee-feb-27.html), has been suspended, along with Jim Haney, by the Big East and will be unable to work its conference tournament, for officiating errors during a game between West Virginia and Louisville earlier this year. Apparently the third official from that fateful game, Les Jones, wasn't scheduled to work the Big East tournament anyway, so no suspension was possible.

Here is a link from today's New York Post about the suspensions: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/college/basketball/big_east_benches_refs_for_bad_calls_k7melwcXX1VvSWXFub5cuL

There are a few reasons why this is interesting to us at ITGOTT:

1. Mike Kitts worked yesterday's Tony Greene game, which has generated quite a bit of internet chat and even a few really good comments on our site. Although ITGOTT noted several officiating actions by Tony Greene and Doug Sirmons that could fall into the categories of officials being "on the take" that we have described all season, it should be noted that Mike Kitts did NOT appear to be making calls favoring Tennessee against the spread.

2. The New York Post article quotes Rick Pitino, coach at the University of Louisville, and implies that his complaints may have led to the suspensions of Kitts and Haney. It should also be noted that Pitino's Louisville Cardinals were absolutely jobbed by a ridiculous Tony Greene call in a game at Seton Hall back in January... a call that COULD have affected the spread, considering that an overtime period in that game could have flipped the spread. (http://istonygreeneonthetake.blogspot.com/2010/01/game-41-lousville-seton-hall-jan-21.html)

3. One of ITGOTT's biggest complaints about college basketball officiating is the reticence of announcers, commentators, and most importantly, supervisors of officials to openly and publicly criticize officials who are doing a poor job. While the Big East's Art Hyland didn't EXACTLY do this with regards to Kitts and Haney, ITGOTT feels that this suspension being made public accomplishes the same goal. Everyone now knows that there are ramifications for making officiating errors - or at least procedural errors - and everyone now knows that Mike Kitts and Jim Haney have received punishment for poor officiating - or at least failing to follow procedural errors.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Game 63 - #2 Kentucky @ #19 Tennessee - Feb. 27, 2010

Game- #2 Kentucky @ #19 Tennessee - Saturday, February 27, 2010

Line - Kentucky - 2 1/2

Result - Tennessee wins 74-65 and covers the spread

There has not been a game all year where it more appeared like Tony Greene, and his crew, were more "on the take" than today's match-up between #2 Kentucky and #19 Tennessee from Knoxville, TN. Tony Greene, working with Doug Sirmons and Mike Kitts, seemed to follow EVERY "On The Take Rule" established on this site, as if they are actually reading and learning from this site! Here are the examples:

With A Small Spread, Help Your Team Early So They Get Off To A Good Start

Kentucky was a slight 2 1/2 point favorite at Tennessee, so Tony Greene, working with Mike Kitts and Doug Sirmons, made sure that the early Kentucky 4-0 lead didn't expand. With the obvious help of the officials' calls, both making questionable calls against Kentucky and eschewing obvious foul calls against Tennessee, the Volunteers were able to run off 18 straight points against the #2 team in the nation and build a 14-point lead. Here are some of the specifics of how the officials aided Tennessee's run.

Get The Star Of The Team You Are NOT Helping In Early Foul Trouble

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

Use Calls To Change The Momentum Of The Game And Help The Team You Are Helping

All year, we have seen on ITGOTT that the charge/block call is the biggest weapon of an official who might be on the take. Those calls are rarely obvious, almost always questioned, and a n official who would be good at rigging the spread of a game would know to use a charge/block call to change a game momentum, get a player in foul trouble, or even wipe off/allow a key basket. Sure enough, 1 1/2 minutes in, Doug Sirmons makes an AWFUL charge call on Kentucky superstar DeMarcus Cousins. This is particularly important because Cousins' play has been the engire that has driven Kentucky all year - when Cousins does well, so do the Wildcats. So Doug Sirmons, 1 1/2 minutes into the game, makes a horrendous charge call on Cousins that was ABSOLUTELY not a charge, and the momentum begins to change. Three ITGOTT rules obeyed with ONE single call, and Tennessee had some obvious help from the crew to begin its run.

Make Calls (or Non-Calls) To Aid The Team You Are Helping - And Do It Over And Over Again During A Run

At least TWICE during Tennessee's 18-0 run, ITGOTT saw OBVIOUS fouls on Kentucky players as they drove to the hoop. But Tony Greene's crew, and especially Doug Sirmons, were not ABOUT to interrupt the Vols' momentum with a call. So at least TWICE during the 18-0 Tennessee run, the Cats COULD (and should) have gone to the free throw line, but didn't, because the officials appeared to be helping Tennessee.

Additionally, in the midst of this 18-0 run, with 14:25 to go in the first half, Tony Greene makes an absurd foul call on a play where Tennessee's Scotty Hopson was driving to the hoop. Even though Hopson was past two Kentucky defenders, and even though both Mike Kitts and Doug Sirmons were closer to, and in better position to make calls on, the play, Tony Greene stepped in from NEARLY MID-COURT to make a phantom foul on Kentucky to aid Tennessee in its run.

Then the obvious one. With 12:25 to go in the first half, and in the middle of Tennessee's 18-0 run, Kentucky John Wall drove to the basket and was OBVIOUSLY fouled. Tony Greene stood right there and called NOTHING (even though 2 minutes before he could see a Kentucky foul from 45 feet away) as John Wall was hacked and driven to the ground. This non-call was a HUGE factor in helping Tennessee with its crucial 18-0 run, and was one of the worst, and appeared to be one of the most biased, non-calls ITGOTT has seen all year.

So there you have it. An 18-0 run by Tennessee turns a 4-0, close game early, into a 18-4 rout. This run was helped by nearly a half-dozen (that ITGOTT noticed) calls against Kentucky or non-calls that favored Tennessee. There has not been a time this season where ITGOTT has seen an officiating crew that appeared to be more obviously "on the take" than during that 9 minute segment that aided Tennessee to an 18-4 lead early.

Tennessee took an 11-point lead, 40-29, into halftime. But the damage, or work, depending on how you look at it, had already been done.

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

Second half, same thing. After a couple of minutes of back-and-forth play with neither team making a run, Tony Greene steps in again with 16:14 to play when he makes a TERRIBLE blocking call on Kentucky's DeAndre Liggins from 35 feet away, even though Mike Kitts was standing right under the basket looking right at the play. Perhaps this is another "On The Take" rule that ITGOTT has not noticed but that Tony Greene follows - make a big call from out of position. We have not noticed any official in basketball who makes more calls from WAY out of position than Tony Greene, which perhaps is another reason we think he may be "on the take."

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

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

Doug Sirmons made an early charge foul on Kentucky's DeMarcus Cousins to set the tone for Tennessee's 18-0 first half run that defined this game, and he now does the same thing in the second half... but in reverse. Just over 5 minutes into the second half, Doug Sirmons NOW makes a BLOCKING call against Cousins, giving him his third foul on yet another play that could go either way.

When ALL THE CALLS that could go either way are going against one specific team, it sort of made it look obvious to ITGOTT that the officials could be "on the take" and were DETERMINED that Tennessee cover the spread in this game.

Use Calls To Change The Momentum And Help The Team You Are Helping

After a quick 9-0 Kentucky spurt reduced the Tennessee lead to 10 and John Wall was shooting a free throw to cut the lead to nine, it was obvious that Kentucky had seized the momentum of the game and was threatening to cut the deficit to manageable levels just under 12 minutes to go in the game.

For the third time THIS GAME, Tony Greene made a call against Kentucky from at least 30 feet away, this time an over-the-back call against Kentucky's Patrick Patterson on the Wall missed free throw. Tony Greene's ability to see things from 30+ feet, while missing things that occur right in front of him, is amazing and should be investigated.

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

On the ENSUING possession with 10:47 to go, Doug Sirmons calls a charge call (remember how important those are?) against Kentucky's Eric Bledsoe in another apparently attempt to stem the momentum that Kentucky was seizing. Note that although this call wasn't as bad as the others (and was, in fact, probably the right call), the fact that Doug Sirmons had now made THREE charge/block calls, all of which went against Kentucky, brings his calls into question.

Then, with 7:35 to go, Mike Kitts makes ANOTHER block call against Kentucky, this time against John Wall. Again, this is probably the right call, but given this crew's penchant for making BAD charge/block calls against Kentucky during the game, the call must be noted. Charge/blocks can go either way, and it seemed today like, whether the right call or the wrong call, they were going against Kentucky in a disporportionate amount.

Kentucky continued with its momentum and cut the lead to 4 with less than 5 minutes to play. Then 2 points with 2 1/2 minutes to play. Then tied it with 2:10 to play. This amazing run was a product of momentum, momentum that was attempted to be seized, but unsuccessfully, but this Tony Greene-led crew.

But then Tennessee pulled ahead at the end to win. An "and one" basket (the Vols missed the free throw), a no-call on a John Wall turnover, then a Vol three-pointer pushed the lead to 5 with 30 seconds to go, and the Vols went on to win.

Make The Big Call At The End

But to make sure that Kentucky was not about to make a miracle comeback, Tony Greene stepped in to make ANOTHER charge call against Kentucky, this time against John Wall. The number of charge/block calls that went against Kentucky this game is stunning.


Given that the game was tied with 2 minutes to play, Tennessee deserved to win. From two minutes to go until the end of the game, the Vols executed and the Wildcats didn't.

However, there is no reason this game should have been tied with 2 minutes to play. The officials clearly aided the Vols' 18-0 run early in the first half, and that run was all the difference this game needed.

Additionally, when Kentucky began making a run in the second half, the officials stepped in multiple times with bizarre and bad calls to attempt to stop Kentucky's momentum.

And most telling, Kentucky was called for SO MANY more charges or blocks on calls that ITGOTT identifies af 50/50 calls that can go either way. Officials "on the take" can make these calls help the team they are helping, and it looked like they did today.

If there has ever been a game all season where it appeared more obvious that Tony Greene (and Doug Sirmons) were "on the take", ITGOTT didn't see it. It looked very obvious to us that Tony Greene was determined, from early on, for Tennessee to cover the spread today.

And guess, what? They did. But what do we know?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Game 57 - Georgia @ #20 Tennessee - Feb. 17, 2010

Although Tony Greene's 57th game of the 2009-2010 basketball season WAS televised, the fine folks here at ITGOTT are away on another assignment and were unable to review his performance.

Tennessee beat Georgia 69-60 in a game that featured very few calls by the officiating crew of Tony Greene, Joe Lindsey, and Roger Ayers.

See you soon!

Game 56 - James Madison @ Georgia State - Feb. 16, 2010

Tony Greene continues his workhorse schedule, working the James Madison game at Georgia State on Tuesday, February 16.

The game, won 77-72 by Georgia State, was not televised and as such there will be no ITGOTT review.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Game 55 - Connecticut @ #3 Villanova - Feb. 15, 2010

Game - Connecticut @ #3 Villanova - Monday, February 15, 2010

Line - Villanova - 9 1/2

Result - Connecticut wins outright, 74-85

This game was interesting, if only because Sean McDonough and Jay Bilas were VERY critical of the officials throughout the game.

Also interesting was the fact that Bill Raftery tended to clam up whenever McDonough and Bilas were bashing Tony Greene and Jim Burr.

But even with the bad officiating - which seemed to favor Villanova and repeatedly earned the ire of Jim Calhoun - Connecticut was able to upset Villanova and win outright,

Game 54 - #9 Georgetown @ Rutgers - Feb. 14, 2010

It was Valentine's Day, but that didn't stop the presumably-unmarried Tony Greene from working a game in New Jersey between Rutgers and Georgetown.

Remember, he had worked LATE the night before in KENTUCKY, so Tony Greene really had to hustle to get to New Jersey for this Sunday afternoon match-up.

In fact, ITGOTT didn't even realize that there was a game on Valentine's Day, and was shocked to be channel-flipping and see that, not only was Rutgers hanging with the double-digit favorite Georgetown, but our pal Tony Greene was working the game, along with Doug Sirmons and Bernard Clinton (who ITGOTT thinks is a GREAT referee).

So, no review of the game or performance of the officials.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Game 53 - #12 Tennessee @ #2 Kentucky - Feb. 13, 2010

Game - #12 Tennessee @ #2 Kentucky - Saturday, February 13, 2010

Line - Kentucky -10

Result - Kentucky wins and covers, 73-62

Tony Greene's 53rd outing of the season was a big one - #12 Tennessee in Rupp Arena in Lexington to face the #2 Kentucky Wildcats on ESPN's Gameday.

This game ended with Kentucky covering the spread by ONE point, and there were really a couple of major calls that ITGOTT felt were made that actually appeared as if the officials could have been "on the take"... for Tennessee

First, with the emotion of ESPN's Gameday (which had been attended by a record 22,000 Kentucky fans earlier in the day), the highly-rated Wildcats quickly shot to a 6-0 lead. Just a minute or so into the game, it looked like Kentucky was poised to blow the game open and thoroughly destroy an over-matched, especially emotionally, Tennessee team. Unless something happened early to change the game's momentum, this thing looked like it could get ugly early.

Use Calls To Change The Momentum And Hurt The Team You Are Not Helping

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

Then wouldn't you know, Tony Greene steps in with a blocking call on Kentucky's DeMarcus Cousins when a charge call EASILY could have been called. That single call changed the momentum of the game, and the ensuing 12-1 Tennessee run gave them a 5-point lead.

Then, Kentucky goes on an IMMEDIATE 13-2 run to push lead to 20-14. Again, the game was on the verge of becoming a blowout - remember the amped up crowd, the emotion of Gameday, etc. - until a charging call is made against Patrick Patterson of Kentucky. This time, that change in momentum resulted in an 8-2 run and a game tied at 26.

These two calls - one a block and one a charge - each CERTAINLY changed the momentum of a game that was on the verge of blowout. The charge/block call can almost always go either way, so when TWO momentum changes occur in a big game due to charge/block calls, ITGOTT takes note.

The game is EVEN for a long time, until about 9 minutes to go when a defense-fueled 10-0 UK run puts Cats up 8. A bizarre goal tending call by Antinio Petty ends run and cuts lead to 6 with 6 1/2 min to go and changes momentum. UT 5-0 run cuts lead to 4.

After UK run pushes lead to 12 (and surpasses the spread) with 3 1/2 minutes to go, Tony Greene calls a moving screen on Kentucky's Daniel Orton. Greene was across the court, the farthest official from the play, and he was also the only person in Rupp Arena to see a foul on that play. Unbelievable.

Yet with all these calls, Kentucky was able to cover the spread. But in the eyes of ITGOTT, it looked like if the officiating crew WAS "on the take," they were favoring Tennessee.

Who knows?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Game 52 - Florida @ South Carolina - Feb. 10, 2010

Game - Florida @ South Carolina - Wednesday, February 1o, 2010

Line - South Carolina - 1 1/2

Result - South Carolina wins 77-71 and covers the 1 1/2 point spread

Tony Greene continued his work in the 2009-2010 NCAA basketball season when he worked his 52nd game of the year in Columbia, SC. Just two weeks ago on the same floor, South Carolina had defeated #1 Kentucky, but tonight the Gamecocks were just a 1 1/2-point favorite on visiting and unranked Florida. With such a small spread, it was likely that any officiating that demonstrated the possibility of an official "on the taek" would also affect the outcome.

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

After Florida had built an 8-point lead with about 5 minutes to go in the first half and was threatening to push their lead to double digits, the officiating changed. Only FOUR total calls had been made on either team throughout the first 15 minutes of the game, and with that style of officiating, Florida had taken an 8-point lead and clearly had the momentum. When South Carolina's Brandis Raley-Ross drives into the lane, out of control, and crashes into Florida's Dan Werner, not only is the foul called on Warner, but Raley-Ross is awarded free throws, as well. On the VERY NEXT possession, Devan Downey does the SAME THING, driving into the lane and crashing into Florida's Erving Walker. SAME CALL - free throws for Downey, and suddenly the Florida lead is whittled to two, and their momentum is stemmed. The Florida lead stood at four at halftime.

Use Calls (Or Non-Calls) To Seize The Momentum For The Team You Are Helping

Halfway through the second half, Florida STILL lead by 4, and it appeared this margin was pretty static. Unless something external happened - such as a big call by the officials - neither team looked like it could make a run. So with just under 10 minutes to go in the second half, Florida's Dan Werner is called for a mystery travel, and on the ensuing possession, South Carolina's Brandis Raley-Ross drains a three, and the momentum had switched.

A minute later, Florida's Chandler Parsons was OBVIOUSLY fouled on a lay-up attempt, but Tony Greene - staring RIGHT at the play - didn't call a foul. Of course, South Carolina scored on its ensuing possession, and took its first lead since the opening minutes of the game. The momentum in this game had CLEARLY changed on two calls (actually, one call and one no-call), and South Carolina, just up 1, was now in control of the game.

The Gamecocks extended their lead to 7 with 4 minutes to go, then with Florida missing free throws, South Carolina lead by 10 with one minute to go. The Gamecocks eventually won 77-71, covering the 1 1/2 point spread. The ENTIRE outcome of this game hinged, in our eyes, on a couple of calls (and a huge no-call by Tony Greene) in the middle of the second half.

One other thing. Joe Dean, Jr., calling this game for the SEC Network, referred on-air to the officiating crew of Tony Greene, Mike Nance, and Bert Smith as the "A-Team" of SEC officials. While this point is clearly debatable, what bothers ITGOTT is the fact that Joe Dean says that he also made this comment TO the officials before the game. Why is this a problem? Because it indicates a familiarity between the color commentator and the officials. That familiarity almost certainly precludes Joe Dean from criticizing the work of this officiating crew, if necessary, and thus Joe Dean is CLEARLY not calling the game with a pair of totally objective eyes. ITGOTT wants to hear announcers who criticize officials when necessary as well as praising them when warranted. The familiarity that many announcers, including Joe Dean, Jr., have with officials prevents this objectivity.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Game 51 - Mississippi State @ Florida - Feb. 6, 2010

Game - Mississippi State @ Florida - Saturday, February 5, 2010

Line - Florida -3

Result - Florida wins 69-62, covering the spread

Tony Greene worked his 51st game of the college basketball season today in Gainesville, Florida, when the Mississippi State Bulldogs traveled on the road to play the Florida Gators. Neither team was ranked, and the gametime spread saw Florida as a 3-point favorite.

Make Call To Further The Momentum Of The Team You Are Helping

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

For 30+ minutes of basketball, this game was close, neither team able to build much of a lead, and neither team able to gather much momentum. With about 8 minutes to go, Florida began to get some momentum, and hit a three-pointer and made a couple of quick steals in succession to build a 10-point lead. With 4 minutes to go and the lead cut to 6, Mississippi State appeared ready to seize the momentum and challenge for the win, which would clearly put them within the 3-point spread. When the Florida lead was at 8, a Mississippi State player drove the baseline and was called for a bizarre charge, stemming the Bulldog momentum. On the ensuing possession, Mississippi State was called for a foul that sent Florida to the line, where they extended the lead to 10. Those two calls, perhaps more than anything else that happened in the game, broke Mississippi State's attempt at seizing the momentum, and allowed Florida to extend its lead to double digits, a lead they held until the end of the game.

This entire game - outcome AND spread - hinged on one run that Florida was able to make in the latter part of the second half. The Gators, after playing 30 minutes of even basketball with Mississippi State, seized the momentum for just enough time to take a double digit lead in what had been a nearly totally even game. And when Mississippi State threatened to seize back this momentum and make a run at the end, two quick calls stemmed that momentum and led to a Florida victory... and cover of the spread by 7, 69-62, even considering a brief Bulldog run (with multiple long three-pointers) at the end of the game.

It can never be overstated how important momentum is in the game of basketball; and it can never be overstated how much control the officials - via their calls - have over the momentum. It was evident in today's game.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Game 50 - North Carolina @ Virginia Tech - Feb. 4, 2010

Game - North Carolina @ Virginia Tech; Thursday, February 4, 2010

Line - Virginia Tech -4

Result - Virginia Tech wins 74-70. A push against the spread

Tony Greene popped up in Blacksburg, VA, to work his 50th Division 1 college basketball game of this season. The collapsing North Carolina Tar Heels were a 4-point underdog to the homestanding Virginia Tech Hokies when Tony Greene threw up the ball for the opening tip.

When a game ends EXACTLY on the spread, there really isn't any argument you can make that the officials are "on the take." Tonight's game was a great game, and kind of fun to see Virginia Tech beat UNC.

By the way, it was a 4-point game with less than 20 seconds to go when a UNC 3-pointer went in and out. And it was a 7-point game until UNC nailed a meaningless three at the buzzer.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Game 47 - #25 Mississippi @ #4 Kentucky - Feb. 2, 2010

Game - #25 Mississippi @ #4 Kentucky - Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Line - Kentucky -11

Result - Kentucky wins 85-75, but Mississippi covers the spread

Tony Greene seems to work more games involving the Kentucky Wildcats than any other team, and tonight was no exception. Tony Greene's 47th game of the season was a match-up of the Ole Miss Rebels and the Kentucky Wildcats from Rupp Arena in downtown Lexington. The Wildcats entered the game as an 11-point favorite.

Use Calls To Keep The Team You Are Helping Close Early

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

Less than 2 minutes into the game, the Kentucky Wildcats had sprinted to a 7-0 lead before anybody knew was was happening. Since Ole Miss was an 11-point underdog, the spread was being threatened early, and Tony Greene and his crew couldn't let this happen. After awarding Ole Miss a couple of free throws, Tony Greene stepped in on a Kentucky drive to the hoop to make a questionable charge call (aren't they all?) and give the ball to Ole Miss. The call could easily have changed momentum, and kept Ole Miss from being blown out.

Don't Let The Game Get Away From You In The First Half

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

After Kentucky dominated its way to a huge 18-point lead less than halfway through the first half, the game was on the verge of becoming a blowout. On the VERY next possession, the officials called Kentucky for a very questionable "and one" foul, giving a little momentum to Ole Miss. The Rebels capitalized on this big call, executed a 7-0 run, and cut the Wildcat lead. Perhaps more important than the fact that Ole Miss cut into the lead was the fact that the Wildcats' momentum was effectively stopped with this single, crucial call.

With this newfound momentum, Ole Miss was able to slowly, but surely, eat away at the Wildcats' lead, and with under four minutes to go in the first half, the Rebels had cut the lead to 5 with just 3 minutes to go in the first half. A brief Kentucky run at the end of the first half made the halftime Rebel deficit 9.

Use Calls To Stop The Momentum Of The Team You Are Helping

After Kentucky began the second half just like they did the first half - a hot streak that quickly pushed their lead to 15 - it seemed like the Wildcats had seized all the momentum. In quick succession, Kentucky's Eric Bledsoe converted an athletic, tipped-pass alley-oop lay-up and then Kentucky's DeMarcus Cousins stole the ensuing inbounds pass and converted the lay-up to push the Wildcat lead to 17. But wait... enter Tony Greene, seemingly determined NOT to lead Kentucky blow this game open. Tony Greene claimed (in an off-camera comment to ESPN's Brad Nessler during the time-out) that Ole Miss had somehow sneaked in a time-out BEFORE the Cousins steal of the inbounds pass. VERY bizarre, and a very obvious momentum-changer. The call not only took 2 points off the board for Kentucky, it also allowed Ole Miss to make a run and cut the 15-point Wildcat lead to 3, safely inside the 11-point spread. A single, momentum-changing call that incited a 14-point swing in the game.

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

When Kentucky began ANOTHER run and pushed its lead back to 12, covering the 11 point spread, halfway through the second half, the officials stepped in again. This time, it was in the form of an "and one" foul against Kentucky, awarding Ole Miss a free throws after a bucket. Although the free throw was missed, Kentucky's momentum was stemmed, and the game remained about a 12-point contest, back and forth, for several minutes. Although Kentucky was likely to win the game, the 11-point spread was definitely in doubt.

Make The Big Call At The End

With 1:16 to go, Kentucky led by 12, against an 11-point spread. Neither team was fouling and forcing free throws, and Kentucky was draining clock on its possessions, so something external was going to have to flip the spread. Enter this Tony Greene-led officiating crew, which called two quick fouls on Kentucky in SIX seconds - this when nobody was fouling or playing aggressive defense! Sure enough, the Kentucky lead was cut to 9 at the buzzer, and the Cats won 85-75. But Ole Miss covered the spread.

There are a couple of important things to note in this game. Each time Kentucky made a run and threatened to blow the game open, it was an official's call that stopped that momentum. The call Tony Greene made about 5 minutes into the second half, as Kentucky was threatening to blow open the game and push the lead to 17, absolutely changed the momentum of this game, and thus the spread. A good official "on the take" can do this - use BIG calls to change a game's momentum.

And when the spread was in question at the end, with both teams just draining clock to end the game, it was Ole Miss who was awarded free throws that flipped the spread.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Game 46 - Florida @ #14 Tennessee - Jan. 31,2010

Game - Florida @ #14 Tennessee - Sunday, January 31, 2010

Line - Tennessee -8

Result - Tennessee wins 61-60, but Florida covers against the spread

Three major college basketball officials have gone down with season-ending injuries this year - JD Collins, Jim Burr, and Steve Welmer (for the second consecutive year) - but Tony Greene is a workhorse. He worked his 46th game of the season today when he traveled to Knoxville, TN, to officiate a match-up between the visiting Florida Gators and the home-standing and 14th ranked Tennessee Volunteers. The game tipped off with Tennessee as an 8-point favorite.

Swallow Your Whistle When Things Are Going Your Way

It always amazes ITGOTT when we see officials truly allowing a game to flow naturally at the beginning without making any calls. ITGOTT noticed that a Tony Greene-led crew did this yesterday, and they did it again today when they didn't make any call for nearly three minutes. Today, it could have been in an effort to allow Florida, an 8-point underdog, to get off to the good start they were achieving on their own, unterrupted by officials. 4 minutes into the game, Florida led by 3. Their momentum continued uninterrupted by the officials for another three minutes, including a series with about 13 minutes to play where Florida's Chandler Parsons clearly fouled a Tennessee player during a rebound attempt - the Tennessee crowd took time to boo the non-call - and Florida took an early 15-7 lead.

Halfway through the first half, Florida - an 8-point underdog - was clearly in control of this game. The Gators were shooting well, defending well, and rebounding very well. The officiating crew of Tony Greene, John Cahill, and Anthony Jordan didn't appear inclined to interrupt this momentum and halfway through the first half, there had been only TWO fouls called, one on each team. With eight 1/2 minutes to play in the first half, Florida held a 7-point advantage - covering the spread by 15 points.

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

Make The Big Judgment Call In Favor Of The Team You Are Helping

Florida was unable to extend its lead, and a brief Tennessee run, which seemed to include a claim of the game's momentum especially on the defensive end, the Florida lead was down to 5. After a Volunteer steal, the Vols were driving to the hoop with a chance to cut the lead to three and definitively seize the game's momentum, which had been all Florida's up to this point. Enter Tony Greene. With 5 1/2 minutes to play, Tennessee's Scotty Hopson makes a runner in the lane that Tony Greene steps in to wave off, calling the play a charge rather than an "and one" situation. Instead of the Florida lead being cut to three, or two with the free throw, the Gators get the ball and immediately score, their lead being pushed back to 7. This was a HUGE call that definitely allowed Florida to maintain the game's momentum and ultimately take a 6-point halftime lead into the locker room.

While 6 points isn't a huge point differential with regards to the game's outcome, the Gators held a 14-point differential against the spread. More of the same in the second half would result in a Florida victory against the spread regardless of the game's outcome.

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

Make The Big Judgment Call In Favor Of The Team You Are Helping

Less than a minute in the second half, Tennessee's Wayne Chism had hit a three to cut the lead to three, and the Vols' JP Prince was driving to the hoop trying to cut the lead to one. Again, amazingly, in steps Tony Greene, just as he did in the first half, calling a charge against Tennessee and challenging the Vols' attempt to seize momentum. While the call was big, the momentum didn't change as Florida was unable to capitalize and Tennessee quickly cut the lead to one.

So Tony Greene makes ANOTHER call, this time on a Tennessee player as Florida attempted a put-back. Less than two minutes in and with Tennessee clearly seizing the momentum, Tony Greene had made TWO calls against the Vols. Yet again, Florida wasn't able to capitalize, missing one of the two free throws.

And then after a streaking Tennessee tied the game with 14 1/2 minutes to play and clearly had the momentum, Tony Greene stepped in YET AGAIN. After a Florida player slipped 40 feet from the basket, Tony Greene, naturally, called the Tennessee defender for a hand-check foul, eliciting groans from the partisan crowd when the replay was shown. On the ensuing possession, John Cahill called JP Prince for a foul on what appeared to be a clean block, and in a period of about 10 second, the officiating crew had made two calls that could have shifted momentum to Florida and away from Tennessee, who was on a very hot streak.

Another note: although there were only 8 total fouls called in the first half (and neither team reached the bonus), Florida reached the bonus with 8 1/2 minutes to go in the second half. As Tennessee was seizing momentum and threatening the spread, the officials were calling them for enough fouls that Florida reached the bonus early and before Tennessee, a clear officiating difference from the first half.

Make The Big Call At The End

With just over 4 minutes to play, Tennessee has streaked to a 5-point lead and was definitely threatening the 8-point spread. So as Florida's Alex Tyus was lightly challenged on a dunk attempt by Tennessee's Skylar McBee, John Cahill called McBee for was appeared to be a phantom foul. The "and one" cut the Tennessee lead to 2 and put a little breathing room between the result and the 8-point spread.

With The Spread Secure, Let The Game's Outcome Occur On Its Own

So with under four minutes to play, the game was nearly even - Tennessee held a 2 point lead. If the game were to unfold organically - without interference from the officials - it was likely that the better team would win the game, but that Florida, an 8-point underdog would win against the spread. As ITGOTT has often said, this is what we think an official "on the take" would like - to influence the spread, but let the outcome occur naturally such that the best team wins.

And that's what happened. Tennessee, an 8-point favorite, squeaked out a 1-point victory. But Florida won vs. the spread, so those who bet on Florida were happy.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Game 45 - LSU @ Mississippi State - Jan. 30, 2010

Game - LSU @ Mississippi State - Saturday, January 30, 2010

Line - Mississippi State - 12

Result - Mississippi State wins 67-51, covering the spread

Mississippi State was a 12 point gametime favorite in their home match-up with the LSU Tigers, and they got off to a great start, blocking shots and playing suffocating D for the first 5 minutes of the game. But with a 12 point spread against a team, LSU, that REALLY struggles to score points and really works to keep the game close (and MSU works to control tempo as well), it might be difficult for the Bulldogs to cover a double digit spread. There just weren't going to be very many points scored in the game, no matter who wins or by how much.

Swallow Your Whistle When Things Are Going Your Way

For the first 5 1/2 minutes of the game, while the Bulldogs built a 7-2 lead, the officiating crew of Tony Greene, Ron Groover, and Pat Adams did not make a single call. NOT A SINGLE CALL! If there has ever been a case of swallowing the whistle, this was it.

And LSU just couldn't put the ball in the basket. It wasn't until Mississippi State built a 10-2 lead nearly halfway through the first half that LSU scored its FIRST field goal! Uninterrupted by the officials, Mississippi State just slowly built its lead against the anemic Tiger offense, and when the Bulldogs took a 17-4 lead with just under 8 minutes to go in the first half, the 12 point spread was covered.

An LSU run cut the 14-point Bulldog lead to only 7 with just over a minute to go in the half, and the Tigers clearly had the momentum. With LSU moving the ball up the court, Tony Greene stepped in with a rarely-seen 10-second call as the Tiger ballhandler crossed half-court, and the subsequent basketbhelped the Bulldogs take an 8 point lead into the locker room at half time, covering 2/3 of the 12 point spread.

If The Team You Are Helping Has More Physical Players, Swallow Your Whistle

The first part of the second half was dominated by Mississippi State's Jarvis Vanardo, the all-time SEC leader in blocks. He came out of the locker room with such effort and physicality that the Bulldogs quickly extended their 8 point halftime lead to 13, even getting away with a "chicken wing" that the officials, of course, ignored, but that the SEC Network's Dave Baker pointed out.

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

Yet even after this run, LSU, now sporting a line-up primarily made up of walk-on players, began hitting a few shots and wasn't allowing the Bulldogs, who were playing pretty well at this point, to pull away. So the game began to be called much more tightly, with Tony Greene stepping in with a hand-check call on LSU, then another couple of fouls called on the Tigers. Making their free throws, MSU capitalized on this change in the officiating style and pulled out to a 16 point lead just 5 minutes into the second half. A couple of additional ticky-tack fouls on LSU, and suddenly the Bulldogs were IN THE BONUS less than seven minutes into the second half. Remember, in the entire first half, the officials didn't call this many calls on LSU.

Continued good free throw shooting by MSU offset some sudden good shooting by the LSU walk-ons, and the Bulldogs were able to maintain a 13 point lead with about 8 minutes to go.

After a few minutes of back-and-forth scoring, the Bulldog lead stood at 13 with 4 minutes to play, almost exactly at the 12-point spread. While the outcome of the game was not likely in doubt, the outcome of the spread definitely was. Exactly the situation an official "on the take" might like, and in which he might thrive.

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

Make The Big Call At The End

After a MSU bucket pushed its lead to 15, Tony Greene stepped in to call an offensive foul on an LSU ballhandler as he extended his off-ball arm during a drive through the lane. Although Joe Dean, Jr., criticized the call by saying it's "a little but of an NBA rule," he and Dave Baker both take up for Tony Greene by saying "you can't do that right in front of the official." MSU quickly extended its lead to 18.

A meaningless basket by LSU at the buzzer cut the margin to 67-51, but Mississippi State won easily and covered the 12-point spread.

Game 44 - North Florida @ South Carolina - Upstate - Jan. 27, 2010

There are obscure games, and then there is this.

Tony Greene toiled in absolute obscurity on Wednesday night, officiating a non-televised and uninteresting college basketball game in Spartanburg, SC.

For the record, North Florida beat South Carolina - Upstate by 2 points.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Game 43 - Georgetown @ Syracuse; Jan. 25, 2009

Game - #7 Georgetown @ #4 Syracuse - Monday, January 25, 2010

Line - Syracuse -6

Result - Syracuse wins 73-56 and covers

Even though it was perhaps the biggest game Tony Greene worked all year, ITGOTT didn't get to watch, unfortunately... or at least watch closely as related to the officiating work of Tony Greene, Bob Donato, and Karl Hess.

Syracuse was a 6 point favorite at home vs #7 Georgetown, and Syracuse proved why. This is a GOOD team.

If there were any officiating oddities or discrepancies, please e-mail ITGOTT.

Game 42 - Auburn @ Vanderbilt - Jan. 23, 2010

Game - Auburn @ Vanderbilt; Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010

Line - Vanderbilt - 13 1/2

Result - Vanderbilt wins 82-74, Auburn gets backdoor cover

Although this game was, in fact, televised on the SEC Network, ITGOTT was unable to watch. This is unfortunate, because the "backdoor cover" - when a favorite wins, but the underdog covers the spread - is what we think of as the favorite result of an official "on the take."

Additionally, underdog Auburn was able to lead most of the first half and into the second before Vanderbilt took the lead about halfway through the second half and pulled away to win by 8. However, the spread was 13 1/2, so Auburn covered the spread. In these cases, it is always possible that an official "on the take" may have used calls in the first half to keep the underdog close, then allowed the better team to win organically (without officiating interference) in the second half... but not by enough to cover a double digit spread. But... we didn't watch, so we can't comment.

So, unless someone e-mails us about Tony Greene's work in this game - he was working alongside John Hampton and Terry Moore - we are unable to comment on his work.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Game 41 - Louisville @ Seton Hall - Jan. 21, 2010

Game - Louisville @ Seton Hall; Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010

Line - Louisville -2

Result - Seton Hall wins 80-77, beating the spread outright


Well, ITGOTT didn't get to see all of Tony Greene's 41st D-1 game of the year, but listened to most of it on the radio before catching the last few minutes.

By the time ITGOTT was watching, Seton Hall had a commanding lead (maybe 13 points with about 4 minutes to go) and Louisville was scrambling and fouling at the end of the game, trying to get back into it. Seton Hall obliged, missing a lot of free throws, and with less than a second to go, Louisville pulls within 2.

And then on the ensuing inbounds pass underneath Louisville's basket, the Seton Hall inbounder accepted the ball from Tony Greene and, in the process of attempting to inbound the ball, stepped directly across the endline WITH BOTH FEET !!!

Tony Greene, standing no more than 5 feet away, looked right at this infraction, seemed to indicate that this violation would be called and Louisville would have the ball, under its own basket and with less than a second to play, needed a 2 to tie and a 3 to win.

But then the unthinkable happened. For some undetermined reason - perhaps Tony Greene just could NOT allow Louisville to be in position to tie the game, play an overtime, and win by 3 or more and cover the spread - Tony Greene HANDS THE BALL BACK TO THE SETON HALL INBOUNDER. The violation, which Tony Greene (and everyone else in the building) saw as clear as day, was just totally ignored. Totally. Even ESPN's commentators, Dave Pasch and Doris Burke, who named Tony Greene BY NAME, were unable to explain what they just saw. And not just because Dave Pasch and Doris Burke are incompetent announcers. Because this time, Tony Greene's actions were totally inexplicable.

How is that even possible?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mainstream media calls out Big 12 officials

It's easy for a couple of basement-dwelling losers to start a blog on any topic, no matter how obscure, and blog away with hundreds or even thousands of posts and opinions that are as evanescent in the mainstream media world as a spritz of Febreze on Rick Reilly's sport coat.

Thus, ITGOTT is able to dedicate an entire blog to the officiating of one guy - NCAA college basketball ref Tony Greene - and do a quasi-in-depth exploration of his work and whether its possible that he is "on the take" - ie. in the pocket of gamblers attempting to tip the gambling odds in their favor with the help of one official. Unthinkable years ago, this possibility goes from "totally absurd" to "absolutely possible" with the revelation that NBA official Tim Donaghy was doing just that - attempting to influence the outcome of NBA game point spreads by making (or ignoring) certain calls just to make some additional money from rogue gamblers.

Sure, our blog may be an absurd "shot in the dark", windmill chase whose windmill (Tony Greene "on the take") is totally unfounded and does not exist. Alternately, it may be the first look into a devastating, and in light of Tim Donaghy an all-too-realistic, scenario of crooked officiating that could bring down the game we love, college basketball. But looking into the work of Tony Greene, the officials he works with, and even other officials in other games, gets us no real, major publicity. The mainstream media is loathe to question the integrity, or even the ability, of officials.

Until this weekend, when respected Boulder (CO) sports columnist Neill Woelk absolutely eviscerated the officiating work of Duke Edsall, Brent Meaux, and Rick Randall (http://www.buffzone.com/ci_14210188) after their work in a Kansas State victory over Colorado in Boulder on Saturday.

When a member of the mainstream media dares to openly criticize - by name - officials working a Division 1 college basketball game, attention must be paid. Woelk is careful to point out that the officiating of this trio was NOT necessarily biased, just lousy. Further, Woelk explains that a potential great game in a packed house was ruined by a game that featured nearly 70 fouls called. No team was ever able to gain traction with regards to tempo, and as one might expect, the game was both won (Kansas State) and lost (Colorado) at the free throw line. Not only that, but the game lasted more than 2 1/2 hours, a disgrace in this age of 2-hour college basketball games.

Here's what ITGOTT finds interesting about this game. Duke Edsall, who based on anecdotal evidence from ITGOTT fans apparently received the majority of the crowd's ire, used to be a big-time ACC official. He worked nearly every ACC tournament and even worked the 2002 Final Four. A staple of ACC officiating, Duke Edsall was often seen working alongside Larry Rose and Reggie Cofer (both since retired) in major ACC games.

But then something happened. John Clougherty, a 30-yr official highly respected by everyone in the industry, retired after the 2005 season and became the Supervisor of Officials for the ACC. In the four years prior to Clougherty's take-over of ACC officiating, Duke Edsall (a Virginia native and brother of UConn head football coach Randy Edsall) worked an average of 19 ACC games per season. In the four complete seasons after John Clougherty's hiring as the supervisor of ACC officials, Duke Edsall has worked a TOTAL of 16 ACC games, all in the first two years of Clougherty's reign.

Why is this significant? Because of an interview John Clougherty gave to the Hampton (VA) Virginian-Pilot in March 2006, at the end of his first season as ACC Supervisor of Officials. (http://hamptonroads.com/2006/03/acc-official-supervisor-relatively-thankless-job). Virginian-Pilot columnist Ed Miller openly notes the diminished ACC officiating appearances of Duke Edsall, then quotes John Clougherty explaining this turnover with the statement, "After 30 years, I think I have a pretty good eve for talent, who can carry the load." The implication CLEARLY was that Clougherty felt that Duke Edsall either did not have the talent to officiate in the ACC, or could not "carry the load".

Statistics bear out Clougherty's assessment and subsequent marginalization of Duke Edsall in the ACC. Edsall only worked 9 ACC conference games in 2006, then just 7 in 2007, and not a single game since.

This apparently means that Duke Edsall's BOSS, ACC Supervisor of Officials John Clougherty, who assigns officials for ACC games, felt that Duke Edsall, simply, wasn't a good enough official to work ACC games. And like a major leaguer demoted to the minor leagues, Duke Edsall found work in subsequent years by increasing his workload in the mid-major Conference USA and Sun Belt conferences.

And, oh by the way, Duke Edsall also increased his work in the Big 12 conference, which is apparently assigning officiating work to guys who were ostensibly "fired" from the ACC. And as was to be expected, when you take someone else's cast-offs who couldn't "carry the load" in their previous job, you get results like Saturday's. A great game ruined by 70 calls. But when the lead official in the game washed out of the ACC, what did the Big 12 expect?

Game 39 - Maryland @ Boston College - Jan. 16, 2010

Tony Greene worked Saturday's game between Maryland and Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA. Although the game was televised, ITGOTT did NOT see or TiVo the affair - won by a commanding 16 points by Maryland - and thus cannot review Tony Greene's work

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Game 38 - Arkansas @ Mississippi State - Jan. 14, 2010

Game - Arkansas @ Mississippi State - Thursday, January 14, 2010

Line - Mississippi State -14

Result - Mississippi State wine 82-80, but Arkansas covers the spread

This is the perfect kind of game for an official "on the take." An official determined to help Arkansas cover the spread (ie. win outright, or lose by 13 or fewer points) can do so either by letting Arkansas win naturally or by making sure Mississippi State doesn't win by MORE than 13. In other words, the official can alter the spread without affecting the outcome.

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

Even with a 14-point spread, Mississippi State looked like they were going to blow it open early, taking a quick 12-5 lead and seizing ALL the early momentum. When they threatened to make it a 9 point lead less than 4 minutes into the game, Tony Greene stepped in and called a walk on a Bulldog player driving to the hoop.

But no matter what this officiating crew did to help the Razorbacks, it wasn't enough, as MSU couldn't miss and hit 11 of its first 12 shots to take a 14-point lead and cover the spread less than halfway through the first half.

After the Bulldogs took a 17-point lead with 5 minutes to go in the half, the Razorbacks turned up the defense and the shooting, and the officials turned down their whistles. Not a single call was made as the Hogs bumped their way to an 8-0 run and sliced the MSU lead to single digits. The MSU lead was 12 at the half.

Swallow Your Whistle When Things Are Going Your Way

Although Mississippi State had surged to an early spread-covering lead, a couple of momentum-shifting calls had stopped this surge, and the halftime lead was only 12. As Arkansas began to find its second half rhythm, the officials virtually stopped calling fouls on either team and the Razorbacks began chipping away at the Bulldog lead.

Then, as MSU began to push the lead back into double digits, an imagined hand-check call against a Bulldog was followed by ANOTHER call on the same player, and Arkansas was awarded free throws which cut the lead to 9. An eschewed foul call on Arkansas on the next position allowed the Razorbacks to cut the lead to 7.

The Charge/Block Call. It Can Go Either Way So Make Sure It Goes Your Way

After a brief Mississippi State run extended their lead to 13 with about 10 minutes to go, it looked like the Bulldogs might pull away and dominate (and thus cover the spread.) Enter Tony Greene. Even though he wasn't working under the basket on a Razorback drive to the hoop, he swooped in to call a mysterious block on MSU that baffled even the ESPNU commentators.

With Arkansas seizing the momentum, the officials began ignoring Mississippi State fouls (in particular, one obvious one on a Razorback possession with 5 1/2 minutes to go - a possession that ended in a three-pointer), and the Razorbacks cut the lead to 6 with under 5 minutes to go.

At this point, the spread was not as much in question as the game was. Just as an official "on the take" would like it. With the spread taken care of, let the teams battle it out for the win.

And that's exactly what they did. With what appeared to be good officiating the last 5 minutes of the game, Mississippi State was able to pull out an 82-80 victory... but Arkansas covered the spread.

Game 37 - Marshall @ Central Florida - Jan. 13, 2010

Tony Greene worked his amazing 36th game of the season in Orlando, FL, in a game where Marshall beat USF 81-75.

Although the game was televised by CBS College Sports, ITGOTT neither watched nor TiVo'd, so no review is possible.

Game 36 - Kentucky @ Florida - Jan. 12, 2010

Game - Kentucky @ Florida; Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Line - Kentucky -2

Result - Kentucky wins 89-77 and covers the spread

ITGOTT review pending. (The game is on TiVo).

Game 35 - NC-Greensboro @ UT-Chattanooga - Jan. 11, 2010

Tony Greene worked his 35th game of the season on Monday, January 11, in Chattanooga, TN.

Tennessee-Chattanooga beat North Carolina-Greensboro 58-45, but the game was not televised. Therefore, there is no review by ITGOTT

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Game 34 - Connecticut @ Georgetown - Jan 9, 2010

Game - Connecticut @ Georgetown; Saturday, January 9, 2010

Line - Georgetown - 5 1/2

Result - Georgetown wins the game 72-69, Connecticut covers the spread

Today provided the perfect opportunity for ITGOTT to review Tony Greene's performance, as he traveled to our nation's capital to officiate a game between #13 Connecticut and #12 Georgetown. Working with Bob Donato and Mike Kitts, Tony Greene was on display today in a nationally televised game between ranked opponents.

Swallow Your Whistle When Things Are Going Your Way

Early on, Georgetown played right into Connecticut's hands. The well-coached, disciplined Hoyas needed to control pace, hit shots, and play controlled basketball to outpoint the long, athletic Huskies. Without any clear officiating bias, the Hoyas made a few mistakes early, missing shots and making turnovers and halfway through the first half, the Huskies held a 4-point lead.

When Teams Have Different Styles, Make Sure the Pace Favors The Team You Are Helping

For Connecticut to win (or cover the spread) they were going to have to control the pace - or more specifically, keep Georgetown from slowing the pace down. By eschewing a lot of potential calls midway through the first half, particularly on fast breaks, this officiating crew was able to ensure that Connecticut won the pace race early and help them take a 34-19 lead. There were at LEAST six occasions where an officiating crew could have made calls to stop the Connecticut run and didn't blow the whistle. These non-calls during a four-minute, frenetic, up-and-down segment of the game helped fuel a 16-0 Connecticut run that resulted in a 12-point UConn lead. The Huskies continued to pour it on, taking a 15-point lead into halftime.

Use Calls (And Non-calls) Top Stop The Momentum of the Team You Are Not Helping

The officials swallowed their whistles early in the second half, especially with regards to Georgetown fouls, and before they knew what had happened, the 15-point halftime lead had been cut to 4 just 5 minutes into the second half. So the officials went to work, first sending UConn to the line on a phantom foul on a drive to the basket (which also broke Georgetown's momentum) and then failing to call an obvious goal-tend on a Georgetown possession. These quick calls (and non-calls) led the Huskies begin to extend their lead again, and when Georgetown began making ANOTHER run and cut the lead to 2, Tony Greene stepped in with an "and one" foul call on Georgetown to break THAT momentum.

Georgetown continued to grab the momentum, and actually cut the lead to 1 with about 9 1/2 minutes to go in the game. So Tony Greene skipped an obvious over-the-back call on UConn's Oriakhi as he made a putback to push their lead to 3. Keeping the game close meant the teams coudl determine the outcome - something all officials like - but Connecticut could win against the spread. So back and forth scores occurred by both teams with no calls made and Georgetown making no extension of its lead, and the game was within a couple of points all the way until 1:11 to play.

Make The Big Call At The End

At that point, Georgetown had 1-point lead, and was battling for a loose ball. A loose ball foul call on Georgetown (lustily booed by the Georgetown crowd and openly questioned by Dick Vitale) gave UConn free throws and a 1-point lead. Even though the game was absolutely in doubt, for Georgetown to win the 6-point spread now would be nearly impossible.

This is how officials want it. Less than a minute to go, the game will be decided by the players. But the spread was, for all intents and purposes, decided before this point. No matter what happens, UConn wins against the spread, which is 5 1/2.

And sure enough, Georgetown makes shots at the end - UConn misses shots - and the Hoyas pull out a 3-point victory, 72-69.

Game 33 - Campbell @ Mercer - Jan. 7, 2010

Continuing his trek toiling through obscurity in the South, Tony Greene worked a game Thursday night in Macon, GA, when Campbell traveled there to play Mercer.

In a non-televised, and thus non-reviewed by ITGOTT, game, Mercer was able to pull out a 9-point victory, 82-73

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Game 32 - DePaul @ Villanova - Jan. 6, 2010

ITGOTT was all ready, schedules printed, popcorn popped, hot chocolate by the easy chair. And we missed Tony Greene's game.

There were too many good games tonight to watch the horrendous DePaul Blue Demons take on Villanova. We were too into Michigan State-Wisconsin, and we became mesmerized by BOTH Cornell-Kansas and Georgetown-Marquette.

And before we knew it, we had missed Tony Greene's game, which was televised.

Oh, by the way, Villanova won in a blowout. DePaul sucks.

Game 31 - McNeese State @ LSU - Jan. 4, 2010

Whoops, we missed Tony Greene's 31st game of the year, and so did everyone else.

A meaningless blowout, not televised, with LSU destroying McNeese State in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge.

Where will Tony turn up next? Stay tuned...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Game 30 - Florida @ North Carolina State; Jan. 3, 2010

Game - Florida @ North Carolina State - Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010

Line - Pick 'em

Result - Florida wins (and covers) 62-61 in OT, on a 65-foot shot at the buzzer

ITGOTT would love to tell you, gentle readers, how Tony Greene was "on the take" in yesterday's game. However, the result of the game (and the spread, since the game was a Pick 'em) turned on a 65-foot buzzer-beating three-pointer by Florida's Chandler Parsons at the end of overtime.

So, no review necessary. If there was ever a game on the up and up, it was this one.

And this was a hell of a game, by the way. Congratulations Florida, and congratulations Chandler Parsons. ITGOTT thanks you for making our Sunday afternoon of Tony Greene-watching truly enjoyable.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Game 29 - Louisville @ Kentucky - Jan. 2, 2010

GAME - Louisville @ Kentucky; Saturday, Jan. 2

LINE - Kentucky - 7

RESULT - Kentucky covers, winning 71-62

ITGOTT had advance notice of Tony Greene's schedule, and was able to plan to watch this in-state rivalry game on CBS. With Verne Lundquist and Clark Kellogg working for The Eye, and with Kentucky's John Calipari and Louisville's adulterer Rick Pitino facing one another, much was on the line at Rupp Arena in Lexington. Kentucky was a 7 point favorite.

Surely Tony Greene would let a game of this importance unfold organically and without his interference, wouldn't he? Working with Doug Shows and John Cahill, ITGOTT was ready to watch and review the performance.

This game was SO heated, that the officials just had to take control of the game, or it could have quickly gotten out of hand. 6 fouls in the first 45 seconds, including some assessed after a review of a loose ball scrum, before a point was scored.

Make The Big Judgment Call In Favor Of The Team You Are Helping

During the aforementioned loose ball scrum, Kentucky star DeMarcus Cousins was seen elbowing a defenseless Louisville player in the head. While this call wasn't called on the floor, the retaliation by the Louisville player was. However, the officials - led by Tony Greene - went to the replay to determine if a combative act took place. Although it CLEARLY did and Cousins should have been ejected, he was instead assessed a technical foul. Cousins went on to score the first 6 points of the game.

Then the teams, and the officials, settled in and played/called a clean game. Although neither team exploded out of the gates, Kentucky worked its way to an early 9-1 lead, and the 7 point spread was covered 5 1/2 minutes into the game.

Keep 'Em Guessing - Make Calls That Confuse Everybody

Then Tony Greene called a bizarre call on Kentucky's Daniel Orton (his second foul) on what appeared to be a clean rebound. Additionally, this foul put Louisville in the bonus. Then, IMMEDIATELY (as in on the ensuing inbounds) gave the ball back to Kentucky with another seemingly bizarre call on Louisville. No clue whether Tony Greene is on the take here, but he certainly was making some bizarre calls.

Meanwhile, Kentucky quietly extended its lead to a dozen 8 1/2 minutes into the game. Louisville, at one point, had made 10 turnovers and only one field goal, yet Kentucky hadn't been able to pull away. A couple of missed shots by the Cats here, a couple of non-calls by the officials, there, and a team that should be ahead by 25 was only ahead by 12. An up-and-down remainder of the first half resulted in an 8-point Kentucky halftime lead.

A Louisville run to open the second half cut the UK lead to 4, and the spread (and game) were definitely in question.

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

Then, with Kentucky clinging to a 4-point lead with about 15 minutes to play in the game, Kentucky throws an errant pass that Louisville picks off. But Doug Shows steps in with a questionable call on a Louisville player, and Kentucky seizes back the momentum and extends its lead to 8.

Keep 'Em Guessing - Make Calls That Confuse Everybody

Then on the ensuing possession, Doug Shows makes a terrible "and one" foul call on Kentucky. ITGOTT believes that Doug Shows is just winging it today, making make-up call after make-up call, none of which get control of the game, none of which help a specific team, and none of which demonstrate even a modicum of officiating intelligence.

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

With 12:17, Louisville had cut the Kentucky lead to just 4, and clearly had the momentum. In steps Doug Shows, to make the charge call on a Louisville possession. At this point, ITGOTT has no idea whether Doug Shows is "on the take" or just an incompetent official, but his officiating in this game is more attention-grabbing that Tony Greene's last season. And it was because of Tony Greene's officiating last season that this blog was born.

Nonetheless, Louisville kept the momentum, and despite various fouls sending various Kentucky players to the free throw line, the Cats couldn't seem to buy a free throw and a 9-0 Louisville run gave them a 1 point lead with just under 10 minutes to play. To cover the spread today, as it appeared these officials wanted to happen, Kentucky was going to have to play a strong final 10 minutes.

Doug Shows baffles again with a double technical with about 9 minutes to play. No free throws are shot, so the score didn't directly change, but even Verne Lundquist and Clark Kellogg were baffled on this one. Even Tony Greene and John Cahill seemed to be apologizing to Rick Pitino and John Calipari, respectively, in CBS's video. Seriously, Doug Shows may be the worst official in college basketball.

In the midst of all this Doug Shows strangeness, Kentucky went on a run of its own - well actually John Wall with a 6 point run of his own- re-taking the lead and extending it to 7 with 7 minutes to play. The spread was again covered, and even though Louisville made a quick run, Doug Shows stepped up again with an "and one" for Kentucky with 5:35 to go (a good call, it looked like) and Kentucky extended its lead to 10.

Swallow Your Whistle When Things Are Going Your Way

With about 5 minutes to go, with Kentucky clearly having the momentum, the officials, who had been so visible today, disappeared. When Patrick Patterson of Kentucky had a one-on-none breakaway with a 12-point UK lead with about 3 minutes to go, it looked like the spread was in hand. But Patrick Patterson missed the dunk on the front of the rim (a hugely embarrassing event for a guy 6'9") and the momentum switched to Louisville in a hurry. A three and a 2 and the lead was down to 7, exactly the spread, until Kentucky free throws with 1:14 to go pushed their lead to 9. A Louisville bucket cut it to 7, exactly the spread, with 1 minute to go.

Make The Big Call (Oe Non-Call) At The End

So if these officials are on the take, Tony Greene included, a call at the end would make the difference. In this case, they didn't need to. Louisville was forced to foul, Kentucky hit free throws. Louisville missed shots, and three meaningless fouls on Kentucky (ALL THREE made by John Cahill, by the way) with 30 seconds or less to go were rendered irrelevant. Kentucky won by 9, covering (albeit barely) the 7 point spread.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Tony Greene to work Louisville @ Kentucky tomorrow, 1/2/10

ITGOTT is hearing that Tony Greene is scheduled to work the Louisville Cardinals @ Kentucky Wildcats tomorrow, Saturday, January 2, 2010, in Lexington.

ITGOTT will be watching, monitoring, reviewing, and blogging.

Game 28 - Tennessee @ Memphis - Dec. 31, 2009

In what appears to be an exciting game, featuring some good action and even a couple of technical foul calls, the Tennessee Volunteers traveled across the Volunteer state to take on the Memphis Tigers. A 2-point underdog, the Volunteers pulled out a 7-point victory.

While ITGOTT can't review the game YET, look for a review in the coming days (we've got this one on our TiVo).

Game 27 - Bethune-Cookman @ Miami (FL) - Dec. 30, 2009

Tony Greene traveled from Durham, NC, to Miami, FL, to work the exciting action between Bethune-Cookman and Miami (FL). The game was not televised, so there is no ITGOTT review.

Game 26 - Long Beach State @ Duke - Dec. 29, 2009

After a holiday break of nearly a week, Tony Greene was back at work on Tuesday, December 29, when he appeared in Cameron Indoor Stadium to watch (help?) Duke to a nearly 20-point victory over an underrated Long Beach State team.

Even though this game was televised, ITGOTT was busy viewing some other college basketball action in person. Thus, there is no review of Tony Greene's performance.