Normally when I watch a game, especially one in which we lose, initially I can normally think of one play that I think the officials made an incorrect call that could have been the difference in the game. But then the next day, I normally come to realize that it was Maryland's poor play that resulted in their loss and I shouldn't dwell on one call or no call by an official. People make mistakes after all, and no one is perfect. But after being there in person for last night's game, this case is different. While Ben has highlighted the non-shotclock violation call (which when it happened I texted him and told him that it was a clear violation), we're not talking about just one bad call here. There were multiple calls/no calls made by one ref in particular and the culmination of what appeared to almost be a bias against Maryland did cost the Terps the game. That ref's name is Mike Eades.
Here are just some of the plays I can remember off the top of my head where Eades, in a word, screwed us.
1. After a quick Maryland score, with about 5 or 6 minutes left, Georgia Tech inbounded the ball, we again stole it and put up a quick layup. Or so we thought. Eades decided that Tech inbounding the ball didn't really happen, so they took the points away and gave it back to Tech under the baseline. 2 points.
2. Early in the first half, (sexual) Favors threw an elbow after getting caught in a trap. Play was stopped. A foul was charged to Favors. But wait. What was that? "Illegal elbow charged to Favors, but no foul." WHAT? Since when is throwing an elbow not a foul? Eades ran over to the scorers table and they took the Favors foul away. Karl Hess, Eades' co-official didn't seem to understand the foul/no foul call. Maryland got the ball, but Favors, rather than having 3 fouls and rather than MD being one foul closer to shooting free throws (where Maryland clearly was superior to Tech on the night, making 10/13 to Tech's 13/27), was left scratching their heads.
3. Long inbound pass to Hayes. I talked to Ben about this one. You might remember it - Vasquez threw a long inbound pass to Hayes in the backcourt and a Tech player kind of hit Eric and Heyes went down hard and the ball slowly dribbled out of bounds and was then awarded to Tech by, guess who, Mike Eades. Ben said the replay didn't appear to show that there was much contact, but the play happened right in front of me and looked like a pass interfearance call in football. Seemed clear that the Tech player pushed Hayes from behind, which knocked him off balance as he tried to come down with the ball. Was a foul called? Of course not.
4. The shot clock non-call. This was sent me over the edge. I lost my voice screaming so much in Greensboro. If this happened in College Park, there might have been a riot on the court. I couldn't believe that no one saw the violation. While this one is on all three officials, Eades was looking right at the basket when it happened. And the buzzer clearly sounded before Tech slammed the ball through, so even if they couldn't see the shot, they should have heard it. And why didn't/couldn't they look at the replay on this one? Maryland plays great defense for 36.5 seconds and gets screwed. Rather than being down 2, the game should have been tied and Maryland should have had the ball for the last shot. Would they have made it and won? I can't say that. But I can say the game probably would have at least gone to OT. And the result of that play led to this next one.
5. Flagrant foul called on Vasquez at the end. While pretty much everyone outside of College Park doesn't like Vasquez, one thing you can say is that he'd never doing something that stupid on the court. But Eades called him for a flagrant at the end and I still don't understand why. Gives Tech 2 shots and then gives them the ball back. Maryland was probably done by that point, but it was still indicative of Eades' clear bias towards Maryland.
Some might disagree with me, but it's clear that these 5 events, which I just thought of off the top of my head, prevented Maryland from getting over that hump and maybe taking the lead. As I said, a mistake here or there in a close game and you point to Maryland's poor first half and take it with a grain of salt. But this many mistakes? Sorry folks, that's 6 on 5 basketball. And it's not acceptable. If a coach screws up, he gets fired. If a player screws up, he can get benched. But when an official screws up? No one's allowed to talk about it. Officials need to be held accountable for their mistakes. Eades should be fired/suspended/docked pay for his horrible officiating. His horrible officiating contributed to us not only losing a game, but a higher seed and the chance for an ACC title.