3-point lines on Portland court are different distances, will be fixed before next game

PORTLAND, Ore. — The 3-point line for the women’s NCAA Tournament at Moda Center had a discrepancy in distance at each end of the court that went unnoticed through four games over two days before Texas and North Carolina State were informed of the problem ahead of their Elite Eight matchup on Sunday.

The teams’ coaches agreed to play Sunday’s game as scheduled with the mismatched 3-point lines rather than delay it, the NCAA said in a statement. N.C. State beat Texas 76-66 to advance to the Final Four.
The NCAA was notified (Sunday) that the 3-point lines on the court at Moda Center in Portland are not the same distance. The NCAA staff and women’s basketball committee members on site consulted with the two head coaches who were made aware of the discrepancy. All parties elected to play a complete game on the court as is, rather than correcting the court and delaying the game,” Lynn Holzman, the NCAA’s vice president of women’s basketball, said in a statement.

Holzman said all lines would be measured after practices concluded on Sunday evening and the correct markings would be on the floor ahead of Monday’s game between Southern California and UConn.

“While the NCAA’s vendor has apologized for the error, we will investigate how this happened in the first place. The NCAA is working now to ensure the accuracy of all court markings for future games,” Holzman said. “We are not aware of any other issues at any of the prior sites for men’s or women’s tournament games.”

The court issue was another distraction for the NCAA during a women’s tournament in which the play has been exceptional but other issues have taken the spotlight.
There was a referee pulled out of a game at halftime in the first round. Utah faced racist harassment before its first-round game. Notre Dame’s Hannah Hidalgo was forced to remove a nose ring and missed time in a Sweet 16 loss to Oregon State. LSU coach Kim Mulkey threatened to sue The Washington Post over a then-unpublished profile of her and later called out a Los Angeles Times columnist for what she said was sexist criticism of her team. The Times edited the column in response.

And now, the court issue in Portland.

“I hate to say this, but I have a lot of colleagues that would say, ‘Only in women’s basketball,’” Texas coach Vic Schaefer said. “I mean, it’s a shame, really, that it even happened. But it is what it is.”

Four Sweet 16 games on Friday and Saturday were played without any of the participating teams saying anything publicly about a problem with the court.

During pregame warmups, Schaefer and N.C. State coach Wes Moore were informed that the 3-point line distance at the top of the key was different on both ends of the floor. The distance between the top of the key and the 3-point line was too short at the end in front of the N.C. State bench, while the line at the Texas end was correct, Moore said.

NCAA officials were asked to measure the distance and brought out a tape measure about 15 minutes before tip-off. After discussions between NCAA representatives, the coaches and officials, the game went on as scheduled.


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