The biggest, and most debated, play in Sunday's NCAA Tournament game between Texas and Arizona had nothing to do with any live action. No, it wasn't Derrick Williams' impressive lay-up and the foul that gave Arizona the win; It was a five second call. It's rare we see teams whistled for a five-second violation, called when a team cannot get the ball inbounds within the alloted five second frame, but that's just what happened in the biggest moment of Sunday's game.
And, of course, it didn't come without some controversy. Check out the video below (via SB Nation Bay Area).
The uproar stems from whether or not five seconds actually elapsed. Stopwatches were taken out, frame rates were counted and fans broke down the above clip about a million times over. And what did all this analysis come up with? The whistle was blown somewhere between 4.5 and 5.2 seconds after the play began. In other words, it was about as close to a correct call as an official can make.
The real second-guessing here should be directed at the decision to call a timeout in the first place. Texas forced a stop, grabbed the rebound, yet called a timeout instead of taking the foul with just about 10 seconds to go. Without a timeout, Texas was headed to the line, a far better result all-around than being forced to inbound the ball.
What's the worst that could happen? The free throw is missed and Arizona still has to go the length of the floor and get a good shot off? Compare that to what happened as Arizona got the ball under its own hoop with 10 seconds to go. Williams got a good look, drew the foul and effectively ended the game.
The theme of this year's NCAA Tournament should clearly be the mind-numbing mistakes made by teams late in games.