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NC State vs Texas: NCAA admits three-point line blunder as No. 3 Wolfpack beats No. 1 Longhorns in Women’s Elite Eight

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NC State vs Texas: NCAA admits three-point line blunder as No. 3 Wolfpack beats No. 1 Longhorns in Women’s Elite Eight


Tim Booth/AP

The NCAA acknowledged the unusual discrepancy during halftime.



CNN
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No. 3 North Carolina State beat No. 1 Texas 76-66 to advance to the women’s Final Four despite the three-point lines on the court at Moda Center in Portland, Oregon, not being the same distance from the basket.

“The NCAA was notified today that the three-point lines on the court at Moda Center in Portland are not the same distance,” the NCAA said in a statement sent to CNN on Sunday.

“The two head coaches were made aware of the discrepancy and elected to play a complete game on the court as is, rather than correcting the court and delaying the game. The court will be corrected before tomorrow’s game in Portland.”

The NCAA later added that they “will be measuring all court lines and markings on the court at the Moda Center” after all the events on Sunday.

The NCAA continued: “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.

“We are not aware of any other issues at any of the prior sites for men’s or women’s tournament games.

“The NCAA regrets the error was not discovered sooner.”

Aziaha James led the scoring for NC State with an impressive 27 points. Despite the uneven distances, James was on fire from beyond the arc, shooting 7-of-9 from deep.

Soobum Im/Getty Images

James drives to the hoop during the game.

After the game, the players were asked about the three-point line, but Longhorns head coach Vic Schaefer said they “were not aware” of the discrepancy.

The Texas coach added that it would have been a minimum of an hour delay and didn’t want to lose their window on ABC.

Schaefer, who is in his fourth year at the helm at Texas, said he couldn’t remember which side was correct.

“That was about two-and-a-half to three hours ago and some crying in between, so I’m not sure I can remember,” Schaefer told reporters. “I can tell you this: go out there, get up in the stands and look at it and you can see it.”

Schaefer did say he didn’t think it mattered “at the end of the day” but remarked that it shows the current state of women’s basketball.

Schaefer was complimentary of his team, calling them “great Longhorns.”

“And they are incredible competitors and they do it the right way,” Schaefer continued. “That’s how I can sit up here today with a smile on my face, even though I just got beat, and be so proud of them because I know they did everything they could today, yesterday, the day before to get to this point. Trust me, this was not easy.”

NC State star James reiterated that players did not know about the three-point discrepancy but added that they were “just there to play our game.”

The junior guard added that the three-point didn’t impact her performance.

Wolfpack head coach Wes Moore said he wished he wouldn’t have known about the issue but couldn’t worry about it with a Final Four appearance on the line.

“I had to worry about the game,” Moore told reporters. “Like I said, I was worried about if our players were going to have to wait an hour to play. I like the fact we could jump out there and play the game. And, again, I don’t think it affected the game, the outcome. Both teams played on it for a half.

“If it would have gone to overtime, we might have a complaint. But as it was, it was equal for both teams. These kids have handled different stuff all year. So, hey, they’re good.”

The Wolfpack will meet No. 1 South Carolina in the Final Four on Friday after the Gamecocks’ win over No. 3 Oregon State on Sunday.

The Gamecocks booked their place in the Final Four with a 70-58 win against the Beavers.

Center Kamilla Cardoso starred once again for the Gamecocks and scored 12 points in addition to grabbing nine rebounds.

“We were extremely fortunate and lucky to get out of this region and on to the Final Four,” South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley told reporters postgame.

“Super proud of our team for the resilience and taking our competitive spirits to another level to secure us another berth to the Final Four.”

The Moda Center will host another Elite Eight game on Monday between No. 1 USC and No. 3 UConn.

The Final Four will be played at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio. The women’s national championship game is scheduled for April 7.



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