The end of Iowa State’s win over North Carolina was both dramatic and anti-climatic. Deandre Kane hit the game-winning shot with 1.6 seconds to play, but the slow timekeeper plus the late recognition of the timeout call by Roy Williams meant that the game ended with both teams in a huddle.
If the NCAA adopted FIBA rules, this would not have happened. Instead, Roy Williams would have had to make a decision prior to Kane’s shot: call timeout or let them play. In FIBA, timeouts have to be called to the scorer’s table; technically, once the Carolina picks up the ball to inbound, it should be too late for Williams to get the timeout. If he wanted a timeout, he would tell the scorekeeper, and on the basket, the scorekeeper would hit the horn to signal for a timeout. [Another interesting wrinkle, for a coach without a timeout, is that the offense can substitute on any dead ball in the last two minutes. Because the clock stops on a made basket, a coach can have a substitute at the scorer’s table, and the scorekeeper will hit the horn for the substitution.]
In FIBA rules, Williams would want to use his timeout because FIBA allows you to move the ball into the front court in the last two minutes. Therefore, rather than time running out and the game ending in a huddle, Williams would have notified the scorekeeper ahead of time, and UNC would have had the ball on the sideline with 1.6 seconds to play, like in an NBA game.
UNC inbounding with a chance to tie or win would have been a much more exciting ending to the game.
By Brian McCormick, PhD
Coach/Clinician, Brian McCormick Basketball
Author, Cross Over: The New Model of Youth Basketball Development
Director of Coaching, Playmakers Basketball Development League