With 11:14 left in UNC's 86-64 win over William & Mary, the game took a sudden and weird turn. The Tar Heels had built a 22 point halftime lead which the Tribe had cut to 14 thanks in part to UNC forgetting how to make any shots. The Dean Dome crowd was noticeably restless at the Tar Heels' poor play and while the game didn't feel in doubt, it also wasn't the comfortable runaway it felt like in the first half.
Enter referee Jamie Luckie who turned what should have been a routine charge call into a total clusterfark leading to Roy Williams getting a technical foul for trying to call a timeout. As the play in question unfolded, the Tribe's Sean Shelden got free of Brice Johnson at the top of the key, cut to the basket, received the ball then bowled over Theo Pinson who had taken up perfect guarding position in front of the charge arc. The baseline official Andrew Marotta i.e. the one closest to the play, whistled an immediate charge. At the same time Jamie Luckie who was along the sideline in front of the William & Mary bench i.e. nowhere near the play, raised his hand also.
Luckie went over to confer with Marotta, overruled him and called Brice Johnson for a foul. The problem there is no one can seem to find where this foul occurred.
Johnson is guarding Shelden at the top of the key but when Shelden makes his break, Johnson is woefully behind him. There is a few feet of separation making contact between the two players impossible. Was their contact prior to Shelden making his cut? Maybe but Luckie doesn't blow his whistle until after the charge occurs and Marotta stopped play to call Shelden for the foul. If Johnson fouled Shelden at the top of the key, Luckie should have blown the whistle then. The lack of a whistle at that point indicates Luckie has been spending too much time with Tony Greene learning how to call fouls on UNC power forwards which do not exist.
As bad as the call was, Roy Williams reaction to it isn't what got him a technical foul but rather no one paying attention to him asking for a timeout.
Apparently Roy Williams' penchant for not calling timeouts is so well known officials simply ignore him when he asks for one at this stage of the game on the assumption he is signaling something else. No one acknowledges the timeout which agitates Williams to the point he comes all the way to midcourt and is promptly given a technical foul by Luckie.
Both Williams and Theo Pinson, who Williams was yelling at to ask for the timeout pleads their case with Luckie who ignores them. Williams turns his attention to the third official Louie Andrakakos to plead his case. Getting no relief there, Williams removed his jacket which is his signal that "he's mad as hell and not going to take it anymore."
1. Jamie Luckie screwed up royally. There is no explanation that does anything less than scream Luckie acted in a completely incompetent manner. The options are (a) he waited until Marotta whistled a different foul to call a foul which occurred 3-4 seconds prior, (b) he called a foul that did not exist, (c) he meant to call a block on Pinson(who is #1) and called it on Johnson instead(who is #11) or (d) he meant to call a block on Pinson despite the fact he was not the closest official and Shelden clearly charged. There is nothing here that casts Luckie in a positive light.
2. Roy Williams was assessed a technical foul while asking for a timeout WHICH THEY THEN GRANTED HIM. Now, Williams is well outside the coaches box and at midcourt and Luckie had already issued a warning so on those grounds the technical wasn't necessarily out of line, However, Williams was at his own bench when he began asking for a timeout. He was ignored for a good ten seconds to the point he was trying to get Theo Pinson to ask for the timeout instead all while moving up the sideline.
To reiterate, Williams was asking for a timeout, got a technical foul and then was granted the timeout he originally asked for. #goacc.
3. I think Roy Williams getting upset like this amuses assistant coach C.B. McGrath. He can be seen smiling as he is out there to keep Williams from getting into too much trouble.
4. The technical probably lit a bigger fire under the crowd than it did the players. The fact both of those groups needed this kind of activity to stimulate them isn't the best look in the world. Both Marcus Paige and J.P. Tokoto commented that the crowd isn't really loud unless it's a big game or something like this happens. The players shouldn't need the coach getting a technical to play with intensity but the criticism of UNC fans at home games is legitimate.
5. According to Stephen Schramm of the Fayetteville Observer, it had been 99 games since Roy Williams' last technical foul. That one occurred on January 29, 2012 in a 93-81 win over Georgia Tech in Chapel Hill. In that game Williams objected too strongly to a call and got a technical foul for his trouble. The referees for that game? Tom Perone, Roger Ayers and...wait for it....wait for it.....Jamie Luckie!
So, UNC shouldn't see Luckie for at least two years. That's how this works right?