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When throwing your suit jacket is (and is not) acceptable

While waiting for the postgame press conferences to begin Saturday following Maryland's six-point win at Virginia, a few reporters discussed what was inarguably a critical point in the game. With 38.6 seconds remaining in the second half, Virginia forward Jerome Meyinsse was called for a blocking foul and Cavaliers Coach Tony Bennett responded by taking off his suit jacket and throwing it to the ground.

That, as you might imagine, did not sit well with referee Jamie Luckie, who had called the blocking foul on Meyinsse. Luckie gave Bennett a technical foul, which gave Maryland four straight free throws instead of the two the Terrapins would have received for the blocking foul. Prior to that sequence, Maryland led by one. After Greivis Vasquez and Sean Mosley made their free throws, the Terrapins led by five and the game was all but sealed.

The question: Was Bennett's technical foul warranted? After all, Maryland Coach Gary Williams tossed off his suit jacket in a fit of rage during the second half of the Terrapins win Feb. 20 over Georgia Tech without being assessed a technical. What was the difference?

As is usually the case, it's all about context. Bennett -- in the eyes of the official -- was throwing his suit jacket in response to a referee's decision. Luckie felt Bennett was passing judgement on his foul call on Meyinsse, and that judgement was, um, less than supportive.

In Williams's case, he flung off his jacket in reaction to the play of his team. Maryland had been giving up a plethora of offensive rebounds to the Yellow Jackets, and the mounting frustration finally got the best of him. But Williams's action wasn't in regards to anything the officials had done. He simply was mad at his own players. And so, he did not get called for a technical foul.

"I feel bad," Bennett said Saturday. "They would have gone to the line with two shots. They make both, we’ve still got a chance to tie it. Who knows if they miss ‘em both, make one, we have a chance to either send it to overtime or win it ... I wish (the Cavaliers) would have had a chance, and that’s unfortunate. It’s a tough one to swallow, because there was a lot of emotion on both benches. And, you know, it is what it is."

By Steve Yanda  |  March 7, 2010; 12:01 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Comments

Thanks for all of the Terps fans who went to Charlottesville. There were times when watching on TV where it was evident that there were a lot of you there - an "Air-ball, air-ball" chant sticks out and the announcers pointed it out.

Successful season; the tie breakers for tourney seeding are archaic and reflect the old home and awy format. However, the tie for the ACC regular season title is still a title - no knocking that.

Think the game was won w/o the technical being called, but clearly the blocking call was legit and the T on the coach was a rookie head coach mistake.

Most of all, it was great to beat UVA at Charlottesville - its hard to believe that GV, EH and LM had never won there. Fun, fun season and I've not looked forward to an ACC tourney like I am for this one in years.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | March 7, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

im glad terps play at 7 on friday now i dont have to skip class that day to watch it....but i would be lying if i wasnt worried about possibly playing GT again

Posted by: skinsst21 | March 7, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know why Maryland didn't get possession after the technical?

Posted by: LaughinLen | March 8, 2010 2:11 AM | Report abuse

Len -

Great question. I thought the Terps would get the ensuing possession after SM's Fts. Anyone know the rule?

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | March 8, 2010 7:03 AM | Report abuse

because maryland already had the ball via the blocking foul and subsequent foul shots. had it been UVA's ball prior to the technical, then UMD would have gotten the ball.

Posted by: baileyindc | March 8, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Re: Not getting possession after technical foul

Another way to think of it is that Maryland DID get the ball after the technical foul in that they got the 2 free throws from the blocking foul. This is why the technical foul shots come first, even though the technical foul occured after the blocking foul. So, you can think of the 2 free throws as their post technical foul possesion.

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | March 8, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

It's weird that you shoot the technical foul free throws before the blocking foul when the blocking foul occured first.

I was confused as well and thought it should go in order.
1. Block foul - 2 FTs
2. Technical - 2 FTs and the ball

Posted by: jcaruana | March 8, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

@jcaruana: you have to shoot the technicals first, since no one is allowed on the court for them. If Mosley had missed his 2nd shot UVA (or UMD) could have rebounded it. If Mosley shot first it wouldn't matter if UVA rebounded it, since they would have to take it out of play to shoot the technicals.

As for Bennet's foul. He's a moron, typical for a uva coach. Everyone knows Gary Williams is the most "passionate" coach in the country yet doesn't get T's, because he's smart. As Steve said, Gary was angry at his players against GT, Bennet was angry at the officials.

Posted by: TheMarylander | March 8, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

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