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A review of the NCAA’s basket interference and replay rules

Those are the rules, no matter how stupid they are.

NCAA Basketball: Louisiana State at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats dropped a heart breaker to the LSU Tigers on Tuesday as a ball was tipped in just before time expired to give the Tigers a 73-71 victory.

Upon review, however, it was clear that LSU’s Kavell Bigby-Williams made contact with the ball while it was above the rim, but not touching it.

So what is the rule on basket interference? (Go ahead and call it goaltending if you want. It’s the same thing, right?)

NCAA Rule Book

Under Article 2, basket interference rules clearly state that, “basket interference occurs when: 2. A player touches the ball while any part of it is within the cylinder that has the ring as its lower base.”

Was that the case in Kentucky’s loss to LSU? Here is some clear footage.

It is abundantly clear that basket interference took place on the play, regardless of what Dick Vitale said on the broadcast. So why wasn’t the basket overturned upon review by the officials?

As much as the rules lean in Kentucky’s favor on the actual interference call, they dive in the other direction when it comes to replay.

NCAA Rule Book

Under Article 4 of the instant replay rules dictates that, “the officials shall not use such available equipment for judgment calls such as: b. Determine whether basket interference or goaltending occured.”

That rule really stinks for Kentucky in this situation. But given the fact that EJ Montgomery arguably moved the rim on the initial shot in that final sequence, replay may not have been as kind to Kentucky as many believe if it was allowed.

Like John Calipari said during the postgame press conference, though, could this instance lead to a rule change? I think even those that hate the Wildcats would approve.

Oh, and it didn’t help matters that Duke beat Louisville thanks a to reviewable play in the final seconds.