Saturday, December 3, 2011

Game 14 - #5 North Carolina @ #1 Kentucky - December 3, 2011

Game - #5 North Carolina @ #1 Kentucky - Sunday, December 83, 2011

Line - Kentucky -5

Result - Kentucky wins 73-72, but North Carolina back-door covers the 5-point spread

Today's game is the first Tony Greene-officiated game of the 2011-2012 season that ITGOTT has been able to watch and analyze with a discerning eye. Kentucky fans LOVE to criticize Tony Greene for his poor officiating, and some (perhaps rightly) claimed that Greene definitely did NOT have a friendly whistle for former Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie. But ITGOTT isn't about Tony Greene favoring, or disliking, any certain team - it's raising the question of whether Tony Greene is "on the take." If you read ITGOTT regularly, you know that there are just as many Tony Greene-Kentucky games where Tony Greene appears to favor Kentucky as their opponent.

And today's game wasn't about Tony Greene. It was about Ron Groover and his horrendous officiating in both directions. Groover isn't a good enough official to even BE "on the take." He's just a disgrace to officiating and the SEC.

To the game: After a frenetic first 6 minutes that saw Kentucky sprint to a lead, and UNC sprint right back, the first questionable call of the game was made.

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

Although it appeared that Ron Groover made the call (Tony Greene was the trail official and out of camera range), Groover made an atrocious-at-best charge call on Kentucky, wiping off a basket and handing the ball to the Tar Heels. It should be noted that Ron Groover, in officiating circles, is often considered the worst official in the SEC - and also, oddly, given the charge/block call he made here, an blatant Kentucky homer.

Then with 8:48 to go in the first half, Ron Groover - irrespective of if he's favoring a team or not - eschews making a call on North Carolina's PJ Hairston when he obviously rakes the arm of a driving Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. The force of Henson's arm on Kidd-Gilchrist's arm, seen clearly on replay, is so great that Kidd-Gilchrist immediately grabs him shoulder in pain, even though Hairston was clearly NOT trying to injure Kidd-Gilchrist. Attention SEC: this is why you can't have terrible officials like Ron Groover working your games. With the size, speed, and talent playing in a major league, Groover's inability to keep up will eventually result in a player getting seriously hurt. Fortunately, it appears that Kidd-Gilchrist wasn't seriously hurt here.

Swallow Your Whistle When Things Are Going Your Way

Use Calls (and Non-Calls) To Change The Momentum in Favor of the Team You Are Helping

After Kentucky had sliced a 9-point UNC lead to just 4 and seemed to have the momentum, with the capacity Rupp Arena crowd roaring its approval with just over 5 minutes to go in the first half, a scrum occurred under the Kentucky basket. Although the Cats got off 4 shots (and appeared to have been fouled on at least 2 of them), it was the Tar Heels who eventually ended up with the ball. The officiating crew of Tony Greene, Mike Nance, and Ron Groover, watching closely, chose not to call ANY of the fouls. UNC's ensuing three pushed their lead back to 7 and quelled the momentum the Wildcats had.

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

With just over a minute to go in the first half and UNC enjoying a 7-point lead, Ron Groover makes what will certainly be the worst charge/block call any official makes all year. Kentucky's Doron Lamb drives the baseline and releases a floater over UNC's Tyler Zeller, which drops through the hoop. Zeller slides in and makes contact with Lamb AFTER Lamb has not only released the shot, but also landed on his feet! Yet Ron Groover makes a charge call so egregious that even the officiating sycophant Clark Kellogg proclaims it a bad call. Again, attention SEC: Ron Groover is not a good enough official to work your games!

Then with 6:08 to go, and with a Kentucky spurt giving the Wildcats a 3-point lead, Ron Groover - sitting RIGHT under the basket and looking RIGHT at the contact - does NOT call a charge on Tyler Zeller, who charged directly into Kentucky's Darius Miller as Zeller drove down the lane. This was yet another no-doubter under any circumstance, and given Groover's charging call AGAINST Kentucky earlier in the game that was absolutely laughable, this non-call makes Groover himself just absurd.

Make The Big Call(s) At The End

With 4 minutes to play, Kentucky led by 5 - right on the number Vegas provided us.

And with 2:16 to play and Kentucky leading by 4, Ron Groover steps in with a big call on a push-off against Kentucky. Was it a bad call? No. Was it a BIG call? Yes. Did it help North Carolina? Yes. The only "on the take"-worthy comment to make is that it COULD have been ignored were Groover helping Kentucky.

Sure enough, Kentucky went on to win 73-72, but failed to cover the 5-point Vegas spread, giving UNC a back-door cover their fans will hate but bettors will love.


Kentucky wins the game. North Carolina covers the spread. Tony Greene's officiating not particularly suspicious. Ron Groover's officiating disgraceful.

1 comment:

  1. Your full of it!! I reviewed that game several xs & UK hacked, elbowed, forearmed,& thugged UNC that entire game. Fouls UK 12 UNC 16 lol!!!