April 21, 2024


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Portland's women's NCAA tournament games are played on a field with mismatched triple lines

Portland's women's NCAA tournament games are played on a field with mismatched triple lines

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The 3-point line for the women's NCAA tournament at the Moda Center had a spacing discrepancy at each end of the court that went unnoticed during four games over two days before Texas State and North Carolina State were reported to the problem. Before the Elite Eight on Sunday.

The teams' coaches agreed to play Sunday's game as scheduled with three-way mismatched lines rather than delay it, the NCAA said in a statement. NC State beat Texas 76-66 To advance to the Final Four.

“The NCAA was notified (Sunday) that the three-point lines on the court at the Moda Center in Portland are not the same distance apart. NCAA staff and on-site women's basketball committee members consulted with the two head coaches who were notified “All parties chose to play a full game on the court as is, rather than correct the court and delay the game,” Lynn Holzman, NCAA vice president of women's basketball, said in a statement.

Holzman said all lines will be measured after training ends Sunday evening and the correct marks will be on the ground before then Monday's game between Southern California and UConn.

“While the NCAA vendor has apologized for the error, we will investigate how it happened in the first place. The NCAA is now working to ensure the accuracy of all court markers for future games,” Holzman said. “We are not aware of any other issues at any of the sites prior to games Men's or women's tournaments.

Connor Sports manufactures March Madness flooring for both men and women.

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The company said in a statement: “We apologize for the error that was discovered, and we have technicians on site at the Moda Center in Portland, where we were directed to make the necessary corrections immediately after (Sunday’s) match.”

The court case was another distraction for the NCAA during a women's tournament in which play was exceptional but other issues took the spotlight.

There was a referee who withdrew from the match in the first half of the first round. Utah faced racial harassment Before his first round match. Notre Dame Hanna Hidalgo He was forced to remove his nose ring He missed time in a Sweet 16 loss to Oregon State. LSU coach Kim Mulkey threatened to sue The Washington Post over a then-unpublished profile of her, then called out a Los Angeles Times columnist over what she said were sexist criticism of her team. The Times edited the column As a response.

And now, the court case in Portland.

“I hate to say this, but I have a lot of teammates who would say, 'Only in women's basketball,'” Texas coach Vic Schaefer said. “I mean, it's a real shame that that happened. But it is what it is.”

Four Sweet 16 games were played on Friday and Saturday without any of the participating teams saying anything publicly about an issue on the field.

During warmups before the game, Schaefer and NC State coach Wes Moore were informed that the distance of the 3-point line at the top of the key was different on both ends of the floor. Moore said the distance between the top of the key and the 3-point line was too short at the end in front of the NC State bench, while the line at the Texas end was right.

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NCAA officials were asked to measure the distance and brought out a tape measure about 15 minutes before tipoff. After discussions between representatives of the association, coaches and officials, the match took place on the scheduled date.

Both coaches said the delay would have taken at least an hour, because an outside person would have had to be brought in to monitor on the ground and that could have prevented the game from being broadcast on ABC.

“It's big to be on ABC,” Moore said. “We've been fortunate to be in it a few times over the last couple of years. But it's a big deal.”

Both coaches said their players were unaware of the discrepancy, and N.C. State's Isaiah James in particular had no problem, as she made a career-high seven 3s on nine attempts. The NCAA said the court will be patched before Monday's Elite Eight game between Southern California and UConn.

“At the end of the day we had already played a game and we both won, so we decided to play,” Schaefer said.

While the NCAA did not provide details, one 3-point line near the top of the key appears to be about 6 inches closer to the basket than it is at the opposite end of the floor. The NCAA 3-point line is 22 feet, 1 3/4 inches long for both women and men.

The numbers showed that players had difficulty handling the line so close to the basket.

Through five games, teams are shooting at the end of the 3-point arc closer to 25.8% (23 of 89) on 3s. At the end of the right half, the team shot 33.3% (29 of 87).

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“These kids, they shoot so far sometimes these days, who knows where the line is?” Moore said. “It's an unusual situation. But, as I said, I don't know if that's an advantage or a disadvantage, either way.

Baylor coach Nicky Cullen, whose team lost to USC in the Sweet 16, Posted on social media With eight teams in one location, the focus was on the game plan, not the shape of the field.

Baylor was 6 of 14 on 3-pointers in the second half while shooting that end of the floor with the right arc.

“I think that's why we shot the ball better in the second half,” Colin posted.


AP Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg in Albany, New York, contributed to this report.


AP March Madness bracket: https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-womens-bracket/ And coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness