Prior to the 2011 Round of 32 game between Marquette and Syracuse, Marquette coach Buzz Williams predicted the game would only be settled sometime in the final four minutes. As it happens, the game was a real barn burner, and it wasn’t decided until the final 30 seconds. The worst part is, it wasn’t entirely decided by the players.
With the two teams tied at 59 in the final minute, Syracuse had possession and got set to inbound the ball. Dion Waiters lobbed the ball in to Scoop Jardine (awesome name), and he sure enough scooped the ball out of the air with one hand. The trouble is, he caught the ball on the offensive side of the half line, and one foot landed on the defensive side. The official dinged Syracuse for the over and back, and Marquette took full advantage. Darius Johnson-Odum drilled a dagger three-pointer and the Golden Eagles never looked back, walking away with a 66-62 victory and a trip to the round of 16.
While our man Scoop did in fact catch the ball on one side and land on the other, he did so while in the air. He had already started his jump when he caught the ball, so he never had established possession until after landing in the back court, which is perfectly legal in College basketball. This was a blown call that ended Syracuse’s tournament.
Sadly, in the following season, league officials would again ding the Orange of Syracuse would again help Marquette, by taking 8 regular season wins from Syracuse for using an ineligible player, and gift wrapping Marquette the 2011-2012 Big East Regular Season Title.