Sports Forum: Disputed shot latest frustration for UND

The depth of the University of North Dakota's men's basketball frustrations seemed infinite last week.

The depth of the University of North Dakota's men's basketball frustrations seemed infinite last week. The Sioux, already without guards Myron Allen and Jeff Brandt, lost to the University of South Dakota when Coyote guard Josh Mueller caught a long pass, pivoted, took two steps and scored.

All with four-tenths of a second on the clock.

The 3-point shot near the 3-point line gave USD a one-point victory.

"All I can comment on," said Sioux coach Rich Glas, "is the film showed he was definitely inside the 3-point arc."

North Central Conference commissioner Mike Marcil said Tuesday the league office will review the tape. But the NCAA has a rule prohibiting changing the outcome of the game via protest -- a decree the league follows.


The NCAA has a rule that if there is three-tenths of a second or less remaining, the only way a player can score is by a tap-in, Marcil said.

It's similar to the NBA's "Trent Tucker Rule." The former Chicago Bulls guard caught a long pass and scored with one-tenth of a second left in a 1990 game. The NBA mandates a player needs at least three-tenths of a second for that shot.

After catching the pass, Mueller took two steps before shooting -- a seemingly impossible task in four-tenths of a second.

"How can you do that in fourth-tenths of a second? Do you realize how fast that is?" Glas said.

Marcil said referees have the leeway to correct clock malfunctions. For instance, if the 30-second shot clock is not running, they can stop play and estimate the number of seconds.

"But in this case," Marcil said, "there is such a small fragment of time that there is no way they could know."

He said the NCC will use the tape for educational purposes.

"At this point, we can only use it for improvement in the future," he said. "If there was a wrong procedure, we'll talk to those officials (at the game) and all the other officials in the league."


The officials who worked the USD-UND game were Doug Votava, Pete Hansen and Al Monaco.

Allen is still waiting on the NCAA to decide his eligibility fate and Brandt is recovering from a sprained ankle.

Jeff would like to dispel the notion he was around when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, but he is on his third decade of reporting with Forum Communications. The son of a reporter and an English teacher, and the brother of a reporter, Jeff has worked at the Jamestown Sun, Bismarck Tribune and since 1990 The Forum, where he's covered North Dakota State athletics since 1995.
Jeff has covered all nine of NDSU's Division I FCS national football titles and has written three books: "Horns Up," "North Dakota Tough" and "Covid Kids." He is the radio host of "The Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack" April through August.
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