Bad officiating tarnished NCAA Final

If it was maybe one or two calls, you could maybe explain the officiating at the NCAA men’s basketball final game.

But the referees did such a shoddy job — especially in the second half — that they tarnished what should have been a classic matchup.

Instead, they turned the game in a foul-a-thon.

How bad was it? Well, both North Carolina and Gonzaga were in the full bonus barely halfway through the second half.

I wouldn’t say the work of the zebras heavily favored one team or the other. But Gonzaga ended up losing one of its top inside players (Zach Collins) and had two others with four fouls.

And there were questionable calls by the bushel.

The most critical may have come in the final minute of play when North Carolina’s Kennedy Meeks, while scrambling for a loose ball, appeared to have his hand on the out of bounds line.

The play was called a jump ball and the Tarheels ended up getting possession — and eventually scoring the basket that put them up three points.

I’ve often wondered with three officials on the floor, how do they manage to not get a call right.

A fan comes to expect a few missed calls at the high school level, where the large majority of refs are doing their level best. But to see it on the largest stage of the sport is simply unacceptable.

The burly Meeks threw his weight around like a bull in a china shop and got away with it for the most part. Sure, he made the big block at the end of the game. But he probably should have fouled out before that took place.

Sports fans have grown used to see officiating errors, particularly in the National Football League. The NFL has had its share of blunders in the past few years.

The Detroit Lions could put together a portfolio of bad calls against them in recent years.

That includes the Calvin Johnson non-catch in Chicago, and the phantom no call in the playoff game versus Dallas. And that’s just a couple of the most glaring blunders.

It’s been often said that officials are a part of every game. But there’s no reason they have to affect the outcome of the game.