With 13 seconds left in its NCAA South Regional opener, UCLA trailed by two points as guard Bryce Alford wheeled and heaved a three-pointer.
SMU's Yanick Moreira thought the shot would miss the basket, so he jumped and tipped the ball. The officials called goaltending.
UCLA's Tony Parker is sure the referees made the right call.
He’s sure that the correct call was goaltending because, he said, “I did it once last year so I knew it was a goaltend.”
It was early in the season, maybe a preseason game, he said. He has no doubts.
His teammates mostly agreed, but some had at least some reservations that Moreira snatched the ball out of the air while it still had a chance to go in.
“I thought he definitely took the ball out of the air when it was on the way to the basket,” Norman Powell said. “I don’t know if it would’ve went in or not, but I think it affected the outcome of it.”
Kevon Looney, the UCLA player closest to the basket, said Moreira, “stopped it from hitting the rim.”
The call was perhaps the most controversial of a chaotic first day of the NCAA tournament. Afterward, the play was replayed and debated.
It was difficult to reach a consensus.
Thomas Welsh, who was also on the floor, said he couldn’t be sure.
“It’s a really interesting call,” Welsh said. “He went up and touched it. I wasn’t sure, maybe it was before the rim, maybe it was above it.”