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.

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