Originally written on The Victory Formation  |  Last updated 11/20/14

If you don’t think the referees in a basketball game know the betting information, you’re kidding yourself. Refs know everything going on in a game, and outside the court. They know the spread. They know the Over/Unders. They almost certainly get updates at the half about the halftime-adjusted lines, and probably even the quarter lines in the NBA.

Tim Donaghy only exposed a problem that many people suspected already existed. There have been far too many incidents over the years that left people scratching their heads as to just how a ref could blow calls so badly; especially calls that seemingly had little effect on the overall outcome of the game.


Of course, sometimes those blown calls have everything to do with the outcome, and swing thousands of dollars of bets in the process. Take the Syracuse Orange vs North Carolina Asheville Bulldogs debacle on Thursday afternoon. There were at least four calls in the second half (a blown foul, a blown goaltending, a blown out-of-bounds and a questionable lane violation) that were either completely missed by the refs, or at the very least were called when they normally would be ignored (two videos below). Each of those calls went against UNCA, and helped Syracuse avoid becoming the first #1 seed to ever fall to a #16 in the NCAA tourney.

Notice that I said in the second half. At halftime, UNCA led by four points. The halftime-adjusted line was either Syracuse -10.5 or -11, depending where you looked, so Syracuse needed to win the game by seven points to cover or at least push.

The final score? Syracuse 72, UNC-Asheville 65. A half-point cover or a push, thanks in large part to four calls in the Orange’s favor – each of which either led directly to more Syracuse points, or likely took UNCA points off the board.


Questionable Lane Violation:


Blown Out-Of-Bounds Call:


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