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Refereeing Affecting Early Storylines

While the tournament thus far has served up some fantastic finishes, several teams have right to be aggrieved to be heading home after only one game. Most recently, New Mexico saw things go up in smoke after a series of easily catchable offenses went uncalled and Stanford was able to pull away to a narrow victory, most notably was an obvious on the arm call that cost center Alex Kirk an important offensive rebound and led to another set of free throws for Stanford to put the game out of reach.

Another team with legitimate gripe against officials are the New Mexico State Aggies, who saw center Sim Bhullar DSQ'ed on a textbook charge which was called a block, before seeing guard Kevin Aronis fouled on back to back three point attempts, the last one being confirmed on a replay the officials reviewed, but were unable to award a foul off of. All of this led to aggregate swing of 8 free throw attempts in a game that was decided by 4 points.

The most disturbing part for NCAA Basketball fans, is that there is no consequences for these officials. The Lobos and Aggies are heading home, their seasons over, while the officials who affected the outcome of their games continue to participate in the greatest sporting event on earth, with no loss of privilege for affecting the outcomes of contests. While it is still, obviously, in the hands of the players to make and miss shots, NCAA needs to continue to raise the standard for the officials that are presiding over the jewel of their sporting empire.