I’ve had about seventeen hours to let the events that unfolded last night in Lawrence, Kansas sink in and, while I’m not sure about how everyone else feels, I don’t feel any better now about seeing the West Virginia Mountaineers
effectively cheated give up another big lead in The Phog than I did immediately after the game last night.
Now, I will admit that there were things that we could’ve or should’ve taken care of on our end. Daxter Miles Jr. could’ve shot those open threes instead of trying to pass it inside to our big men. We could have continued to run our offense after we got up by 11 points instead of just dribbling the ball for 25 seconds and then rushing to force a shot to avoid the shot clock. We could’ve guarded that corner three better.
All of that would’ve been great, but I’m not convinced the outcome would have been any different.
The Big 12 has a legitimate problem with its officiating. It’s so blatant that it has become it’s own meme, even inspiring a @Big12Refs Twitter account that has nearly 29,000 followers. Coming into this conference we were told that no one beats Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse. It’s just not allowed to happen.
Last night convinced me that our friends around the league weren’t just making this conspiracy theory up.
Last night’s debacle was officiated by John Higgins, Keith Kimble and Jamie Luckie. According to BBState.com - which keeps track of every college basketball official and tracks their average number of calls and their home-team bias - all three rank in the 240th-245th range in bias, with just under a -2 differential, placing them in the bottom third of all college officials.
To take this step further, the foul differential last night was -10 (24-14) in favor of the Jayhawks. Jamie Luckie officiated the TCU/Kansas game on February 6th and the differential was -10 (22-12), again in favor of the Jayhawks. John Higgins officiated Kansas/Kansas State in Manhattan on January 29th, and the differential was +4 (20-16) in favor of Kansas. He also refereed Kansas’ late comeback against Baylor in Lawrence on January 20th, and his differential was -7 (26-19) in favor of Jayhawks.
Every instance that involves last night’s group of officials referring a Kansas game ends with their differential trending blatantly in favor of the Jayhawks, well above the national average. I suspect that if I continued to dig deeper, I would see that this trend is true for most Big 12 games that involve the Kansas Jayhawks.
There’s a reason Kansas has won 13 straight Big 12 regular season titles.
And here we are, once again, with the Jayhawks tied for first in the conference after it looked as if this could be the year that someone else wins the league. They’ll be able to clinch at least a share of the title if they beat the Texas Tech Red Raiders next Saturday, and I’m sure that game will be evenly officiated.
I’m not saying the conference does everything they can to help the Jayhawks keep that streak alive, but that’s exactly what I’m saying.