NCAA’s “Inexcusable” 3-Point Line Fiasco In Portland Draws Ire At NCAA Women’s Tournament

750 The Game Staff

Portland was the center of national conversation over the weekend as host site for the NCAA women’s basketball tournament regionals, featuring the likes of USC and JuJu Watkins as well as Geno Auriemma, Paige Bueckers and UConn.

But it was another on-court storyline – literally – that took the center of attention. On Sunday, it was revealed publicly and subsequently acknowledged by NCAA that there was a problem with the distances of the three-point lines at Moda Center. One three-point was the proper distance while on the other side of the court, the three-point line was short by nine inches at its apex.

The line was corrected prior to Monday night’s Elite Eight contest between UConn and USC, but by then, the perception damage was already done.

Longtime women’s basketball insider Michelle Smith covered the games at Moda Center over the weekend and offered her perspective to John Canzano (Afternoons 3-6 p.m. on 750 The Game).

“What a mess,” Smith said Monday. “That it was discovered by a fan with a high view of the court. I mean, honestly, we didn’t see anything. We’ve been sitting courtside watching games for four days. And it wasn’t apparent. But it was super obvious when you look from up top.

“The mental picture of Texas’ coach Vic Schaefer and North Carolina State’s coach Wes Moore just walking it off in their shoes, trying to figure it out with measuring tape…What a mess. It’s inexcusable.”

Smith said she thought the 3-point line issues had an affect on NC State and Texas on Sunday.

“The shooting percentages for those two teams that had to go and play out on that court, they looked to me like they were impacted by shooting at a mis-measured three-point line. And you played five games on that court in that situation. I think it’s just naive to say that it didn’t impact the teams on the court. And when that’s a competitive problem, that’s a bigger problem.”

Before the game, officials brought the two coaches together to make a decision on whether or not to continue forward with the game despite the uneven three-point distances.

“What I’m disappointed in, is that the choice was left to them in the first place,” Smith said. “I don’t think it was a great choice they had to make, which was play on this mess of a court on national television, or postpone it, lose your TV window, have some tape on the court. There were no good choices.”

Listen to the full conversation with Michelle Smith at the podcast below.

John Canzano delivers the Bald Faced Truth afternoons 3-6 p.m. exclusively in Portland on 750 The Game.