MINNEAPOLIS - J.D. Collins, NCAA national coordinator of officiating, defended official James Breeding’s foul call on Auburn guard Samir Doughty with 0.6 seconds left that gave Virginia’s Kyle Guy three free throws in Saturday’s national semifinal.
Guy made all three foul shots and Virginia advanced to the national championship game with a 63-62 win.
“With 0.6 seconds remaining in tonight’s national semifinal game between Virginia and Auburn, Virginia’s Kyle Guy was fouled on a three-point attempt by Auburn’s Samir Doughty,” Collins said in a statement. “The call was made by official James Breeding, who ruled that Doughty moved into the airborne shooter, making contact with Guy while taking away his landing spot. The foul was a violation of Rule 4, Section 39.i, which states, “Verticality applies to a legal position and also to both the offensive and defensive players. The basic components of the principle of verticality are: The defender may not ‘belly up’ or use the lower part of the body or arms to cause contact outside his vertical plane or inside the opponent’s vertical plane.”
Doughty said after the game he was “surprised” the foul was called. Auburn guard Bryce Harper said there was no foul.
Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said he hoped the call wouldn’t define the game.
A foul call was not immediately evident to players on the court or in the stadium until officials gathered near the scorer’s table and Auburn paused its euphoric celebration to learn Guy would be going to the line with a chance to win the game.
Guy said he heard the whistle and knew his feet were behind the line.
—By Jeff Reynolds, Field Level Media