Referee-Determined Outcomes or Thrown Games?

  • I have watched four games end to end this March Madness. Of those 4 games, three seemed to have outcomes decisively determined by the referees.

    Of those three games decisively determined by referees, all three appeared spooky and borderline intentional gimmes to the winning team, but I can’t say for sure.

    Question: referee determined outcomes (RDO) or thrown games?

    Don’t want to be coy about such serious business.

    Take KU vs. WSU. Puhlease!

    The game started with 7 fouls called on KU and one called on WSU.


    When KU begins to pull away, a WSU player beasts on the nose of KU’s star player. Despite a video replay that makes it appear flagrant to some, neither a flagrant foul call nor an ejection.


    KU stops pulling away and instead starts losing its lead and then falls farther and farther behind.


    Take UK and UCinn. Puhlease!

    UCinn plays them even, or up, for a good part of the game. UCinn seems not the least bit intimidated playing UK even with its 10 draft choices and 4 near footers.

    Then the refs intervene and UK gets 28 FTAs to UCinns 14. Even though UK is hacking as much as UCinn. Basically UK appears to be given a free pass to hack UCinn to pieces, and UCinn appears to be called for minor contact and some phantom fouls.

    UK pulls away.

    RDO or thrown game?

    Take UCLA-SMU. Puhlease!

    SMU pulls away.

    UCLA doesn’t even look very good.

    The refs intervene.

    The UCLAN come back on some questionable foul calls on SMU and no calls on UCLA.

    With seconds to go, UCLA, trailing, hoists a desperation trey.

    Not only is there no chance of going in, the ball appears completely outside the cylinder.

    Not even a doubt in the replay.

    If a UCLA rebounder had been there, it would have been called a lob for a legal alley oop.

    Instead, an SMU player taps it aside.

    Goal tending is called.

    The goal tending call gives the UCLAN a score needed to win.

    RDO or thrown game?

    RDOs seem to be going viral.

    Or are thrown games going viral?

    Watching the NCAA tourney feels more and more like watching the Friday night fights (or was it Saturday) on TV in the 1950s and 1960s.

    My late father said he could never be sure if the basketball games were fixed back in the early 50s point shaving scandals, and again in the early 60s point shaving scandals, but it felt like they were.

    He also said he could never be sure if the Friday Night fights were fixed back in the 1950s, or not.

    But it felt like they were.

    Years later it came out that many were fixed.

    Now, I can never be sure if the NCAA tourney games are fixed, or not.

    But it feels like they are sometimes.

    But I just cannot be sure either way.

    Years from now, will I find out many of them WERE fixed?

    Imagine all the scams that might be run in computerized gaming, if they were, in this age of fiber with varying speeds.

  • I look at it this way. Money talks. You have hundreds of officials. You’re telling me that a number of them aren’t corrupt? Folks have done far less for money. I think there are refs right now that are affecting outcomes.

    My guess is that it comes on the over/under. Targeted games. Games where refs can really guide to score over by a big increase in foul calls. Getting teams in the bonus quickly. Hard to keep a basketball game under.

    And it doesn’t have to work every time. Say a ref’s brother in law drops $50,000 on three games, and two of the three fixes pan out? That’s a net win of one game, and less the juice, you still make money.

    I actually think college football is the easier mark for refs. Again, the over/under being the easier bet to beat.

    I do think it is just a matter of time until we get news of fixes or the point spread being affected.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    That is an interesting way to look at it and it vaguely agrees with what I heard from someone back in the mid 80s that claimed to have once had knowledge of NCAA investigations in the 1970s.

  • Banned


    Refs are human too? or are they? lol No I believe the Refs get caught up in the moment. In Omaha it was apparent to me that the Shockers had more fans than KU. At the very least they were louder. As the game rolled into the second half I felt the Shockers were playing a home game.

  • I posted a while back I think viewership plays a role in bad calls late in the game. A goaltending call eliminates the small SMU fan base vs huge UCLA viewership.

  • I thought something was suspicious with the KU game before it even started. Once the matchup was set, KU was a 2pt favorite. Then I checked again a few hours before the game and it had dropped to KU 1pt favorite. THEN, right before the game started, the line changed to WSU as a 1pt favorite! That’s a big swing right before the game starts. Something smelled fishy and it wasn’t the low tide.

  • @RockkChalkk

    That means the betting crowd fell heavy towards WSU right before the game. The point movement happens to even the betting because even though betting is all about risk, what drives the books is the desire to remove their risk by having even money on both sides so they know they will clear their 10% service fee.

    There may have been a little extra movement in this game because some of those betting probably wanted to see if Cliff would regain his eligibility right before game time.


    You are right on. There just has to be some crime going on in a game with this huge scale. Corruption exists in this world, especially when you look at anything in mass. Why hasn’t someone been caught? Well… first off… this is pretty easy to hide. Second… these crimes get tried in federal court, and that is not only an expensive court to be tried in, but the penalties would be extreme, probably exceeding most murder cases. Last… refs have to have a certain level of intelligence to be able to earn their qualification. Smarter criminals get caught less often… NEVER!

  • @RockkChalkk

    Interesting point.

    Does anyone have any stats on average betting line movement during that period before round of 32 tournament games? That would be interesting to know.


    Some guy claims to have hard physical evidence (texts, emails, phone call recordings) that Cal pays refs…

  • @JayhawkRock78 I think if there is any ‘conspiracy’ or behind-the-scenes “pull” to help a particular team win, its your idea of viewership, and the number of TV sets. Simply because of ALL the big, huge, amount of advertising money. It’s THAT advertising money that is the bulk of the TV pkg deals inked by the major conferences and how, by re-doing the deal, the BigXII went from $9mil a year for each school, to the current $20mil per school per year (partly helped by only 10 team slice of the pie). SO, with the NCAA Tourney being HUGE TV event, how much wasted advertising dollars would it have been to have SMU advance, while all the UCLA folks turned off their TV sets.

    I totally agree with the plausibility of such a scenario. I just hope its not true.

  • @ralster Credit “The Pelican Brief” and who stood to gain from taking out the two members of the court. It was Matice and his oil money.

    Everybody was calling out UCLA when they got in the dance. To their credit they won games, but the first one against SMU? How many people follow San Diego St. Or UC Irvine?

    I would hope it isn’t so, but this one just screamed FOUL.

  • @Statmachine

    There is no Pasadena Post. It’s a fraud site selling us on fraud. Doesn’t mean some of that information isn’t true.

    Concerning fixing games:

    Surely it must happen sometimes. There are just too many games played in this world to have all of them clean from tampering. The obvious reason to fix a game is the game is on a booking board. Second… that it’s spread enough to collect a decent pot of gamblers. All of D1 fits in these requirements.

    The fact that no proven cases have appeared in several decades indicates that if it is happening, the culprits are very careful and very capable. This means carefully vetting officials and carefully interviewing them to find the right opportunities. No one that isn’t directly involved can know this is going on. Why? Because if prison time isn’t hanging over your head, eventually you will talk.

    Could someone like WWW pull this off? Highly unlikely. He may be a scumbag, but he doesn’t have the same kind of infrastructure a mob crew has. To pull something like this off, you need to have insurance. You need to know if someone suddenly looks like a snitch, you can take care of the situation, by any means necessary. The only situation where I see someone like WWW being able to pull this off is if he has direct ties with a syndicate. Those ties would have to be connected with blood. Like I said earlier… the penalties in a case like this could far exceed most murder cases. Most likely, feds watch a guy like WWW. Or at least, they notice if he suddenly is seen with mob figures.

    Even involvement of the mob doesn’t guarantee success. We know that from the NY point shaving scandal from the 50s.

    But if you jump down to basketball below college… there is major fixing going on every day. I mentioned before playing on tournament teams. We’d go to a bunch of small towns and typically win their tournaments. But sometimes we’d face some very crooked officiating provided by the tournament organizers. Their crooked whistle would become apparent when we play the local teams. Gotta pull for those local boys!

  • @jaybate-1.0 I didnt see the UK game against UCinn. Or the other one. But I did read very intently about the SMU game. Seems to me that someone didnt want Larry Brown at 77, coaching a mid major team SMU to beat a holier than thou UCLA program. But wait, didnt LB coach UCLA before he got to KU? I dont know JB, I think there is some shady stuff going on in our favorite sport. It does not make me happy.

  • @HighEliteMajor It was not long ago, just recently in fact, I read on ESPN some piece on legalizing sports betting for College ball, outside of Vegas. Refs affecting game out comes, and some write up on legalizing sports betting? Can’t prove it but it can’t be coincidence.

  • @Lulufulu

    I suspect there may still be some bad blood between the NCAA and SMU, dating back to Mustang football and their death penalty. There is a lot to that story… including some likely bad blood between SMU and other southern universities.

    States legalizing pot, college sports gambling… what’s next, legalizing prostitution?

  • @drgnslayr Wooo hooo! Legalize it! LMAO

  • @Lulufulu

    Look at all the “sin taxes” it raises!!!

  • @drgnslayr HA! Like syntax! Thats a good one 😉

  • @JayhawkRock78 But, technically, the refs made the right call. The fault, if there is a fault, lies with the SMU player that made a bad play. Sorry, I’m not buying the conspiracy stuff on that game.

  • @Hawk8086

    What is the rule that says a shot falling outside the cylinder cannot be rebounded by a defensive player or grabbed and dunked by an offensive player? Just curious?

  • @jaybate-1.0 Judgement call by the ref…as to whether it has a chance to go in. Does anyone think that the ref could say…“Ok end of game, here’ smy chance…I’ll make this last call that screws SMU” JB…I love ya man, but you’re whipping the board into a conspiracy frenzy. Just like I said to HEM one time…you remind me of Lardass in Stand by Me…you get the crowd going and then just sit back and watch the havoc that you have wrought. Next, I suppose you’re going to tell me that Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone…I mean he did learn how to shoot like that in the Marines! 🙂

  • At least reviewed?

  • @jaybate-1.0 I should have said…judgement as to whether it is outside the cylinder.

  • @Hawk8086

    That’s what I figured. 😄

    It was completely out of the cylinder. Not even close. So far outside the cylinder that 3 refs calling the game from the cheap seats would have seen it. The burden is on you to prove how three guys could blow the call. 😄

    You know, I love you too, and I am soooo used to raising issues that folks have not looked from certain angles and hearing the conspiracy scare card played and then having what I raise become conventional wisdom within a year or so that I just don’t worry about it any more.

    Oooooh, conspiracy!

    Conspiracy boo!


  • @jaybate-1.0 Judgement part of the rule was bad …but not as obvious as you say…especially without the benefit of replay.

  • Then replay it! Doesn’t happen that often, wouldn’t slow the game down. It was a bad call!

  • @Hawk8086

    MORE obvious than I say. I saw it clearly on TV before the replay at a worse angle than any of the refs had. And I was just a kiddy game ref.

  • @jaybate-1.0 I can see why they would initially see that a part of the ball was within the cylinder…

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Was that type of play reviewable?

  • No, need to change it, bet they do after that call.

  • @jaybate-1.0 There is not a doubt in my mind that Bookies, Television Networks, & Select Referees work in unison and/or independently to control certain outcomes of some games.

    People just laugh it off with “conspiracy theory” talk.

    People would have called the ShoeCo topic a conspiracy until Pitino outed them.

    If a fan so much as brings up referees having an impact on the outcome, they are almost immediately ostracized. This, in and of itself, has allowed for the referees to hide behind their wrongdoings.

  • @Hawk8086 said:

    Next, I suppose you’re going to tell me that Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone… Edit: The JFK Report will be released soon in 2017.

  • @Blown Let me know what that says…

  • @Hawk8086 It’s going to say: If you can’t win by yourself, then cheat to win. Signed, LBJ.

  • If you are watching Duke they just got a call that will benefit them greatly! Sucked

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    I’m watching them now… some painful officiating. They swallowed their whistles on the Utah end.

  • Really bad call!

  • @drgnslayr wrights 3rd call, horrible

  • @Crimsonorblue22 easy peasy now duke is already up by 10.after that bogus call

  • @Blown Never understood the conspiracy theories behind LBJ, nothing sticks. Great book out there by Gerald Posner called, “Case Closed.” One of the great points of the book is that it’s so hard to accept that such a consequential human being could be killed by such an inconsequential man. So we look for a deeper meaning behind the murder, a conspiracy if you will. Perhaps that’s the same reason we Kansas fans hurt so much when we lose to the likes of UNI, VCU, and WSU! How can the great Kansas basketball program fall to these guys??

  • I’m trying to decide if I’m supporting the typical “Duke officiating” in a Duke vs UK game.

    I’d kind of like to see Okafor foul out every footer on UK and get them down to a small team… forcing the twins to play in the post.

    Wouldn’t that be fun to watch! Finally… a fun UK game!

    I’m not a Duke fan but I’d like to see someone spoil the squids team of trees.

  • @VoyagingJayhawk nuleaf needs to pick that book up for his summer reading!!

  • @drgnslayr I can’t support Duke either!

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    But you have to pick… Duke or UK… who is it going to be?

    I’ll take rat face over the squid any day of the week!

  • @drgnslayr not there yet!!

  • Hey, we’ve all seen Utah come back when down big at half haven’t we? This is far more manageable. Keep fightin’ Utes!

  • @VoyagingJayhawk that bad called killed them!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 I agree with ya, that was just awful.

  • Fouled sucked on Spangler too!!!

  • Just switched to the OU-MSU game. Lot of defensive breakdowns for Michigan State, Oklahoma taking advantage. Hope they represent the Big 12 well and make a push.

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