(Photo: Scotty Bara/WCSN)
ASU fans watched in disbelief Friday night as the Sun Devil student section rushed the court with time still left on the clock after Jahii Carson threw down a hard dunk which he believed would end the game. However, everyone including ASU coaches and players realized that they had to play out the last seven tenths of a second before they could bathe in the glory of beating not only the rival Wildcats but also the No. 2 team in the country at home.
Should a technical have been called on Carson for hanging on the rim too long? The officials decided against it but here is the official wording from the NCAA rulebook. See section f below.
Carson was grabbing the rim excessively. It is subjective whether or not he was grabbing it emphatically. However what probably kept Carson from receiving a technical was forward Jonathan Gilling. A quick look back at the tape shows Gilling standing directly underneath Carson immediately proceeding the dunk so regardless to whether or not he was hanging on the rim, Carson was also trying to, “prevent an obvious injury to self or others,” which clears him of any kind of technical foul here.
Now take a look at the NCAA rulebook when it comes to fans rushing the court.
The key verbiage here is “When the delay does not interfere with play, it shall be ignored , and play shall be continued or be resumed from the point of interruption.” The buzzer in the arena sounded before the time was put back on the clock but everyone, including the Wildcat players had already stopped because they thought the game was over as well. If Arizona had immediately tried to inbound the ball while students were rushing the court it could have been a warning but not a technical.
The only issue that comes into play was earlier in the game when a fan in the ASU student section threw a cardboard sign at Nick Johnson. This also could have been a warning in which case the court storming could have been a technical foul but once again the sign got thrown onto the court after a dead ball so no warning should have been issued there either.
This rule was properly executed by referees earlier this season when ASU faced Marquette. The student section was warned not to throw things onto the court over the public address system and when it happened again and fans continued to throw things the Sun Devils were correctly assessed a technical foul.
So put this one to rest, their is no conspiracy in Tempe to take down the Wildcats. The Sun Devils sit with an RPI of 34 according to Joe Lunardi and have all but punched their ticket to the big dance. If a technical would have been called on either Carson or the fans, ASU might still be waiting out in the cold looking in on the NCAA tournament.