Replays of the finish of a Midwest Regional game clearly showed that UCLA got jobbed—twice—in its 75-74 second-round loss to Alabama. With .8 of a second left and the Bruins leading 74-73, the Crimson Tide's Brittney Ezell ran along the baseline before throwing a long inbounds pass downcourt. That was a dear violation; only after a basket may an inbounder move. But no violation was called.
Ezell's pass went to Dominique Canty, who tipped it to LaToya Caudle, who caught it and shot a 15-foot jump shot that went in as the buzzer sounded. Replays showed that the clock didn't start when Canty touched the ball. The three referees left the floor immediately, officially ending the game. NCAA officials later reviewed the tape and, although they could do nothing about the result, they banned the refs from working the rest of the tournament The referees were from neutral conferences. The timer, however, was from Alabama. In the women's tournament, the top four seeds in each region play at home for the first two rounds, and Sunday's game was in Tuscaloosa.
It's hard to believe that two blatant errors would have been allowed to stand in a men's game. The outcry would have been too great.
Similarly, amid all the upsets in the men's tournament, fans may have overlooked the fact that the biggest upset—not just last week but in tournament history-happened in the first round at the West Regional. Not only was Harvard's 71-67 triumph over Stanford on Saturday the first win ever, in the women's or the men's tournament, for a 16th seed over a No. 1 seed, but also the upset took place at Stanford's Maples Pavilion, where the Cardinal had a 59-game winning streak dating back to 1994.
If the women had had a stage to themselves, the biggest name of last weekend would've been that of Allison Feaster, the Crimson's brainy and brawny senior forward. She tore through a depleted Stanford lineup (the Cardinal's top two players, Kristin Folkl and Vanessa Nygaard, were out with knee injuries) to finish with 35 points and 13 rebounds.
Harvard's second-round game, against Arkansas, was played after SI went to press, but whenever the Crimson's season ends, Feaster's life is just beginning. She will probably get offers from both women's professional leagues, and there's a job waiting for her as an investment banker with Merrill Lynch. Would a player in the men's tournament with such credentials have drawn more attention? Bank on it.
East German Doping Trials
Wall of Silence May Crumble
In an unprecedented trial that was scheduled to begin Wednesday in Berlin, four former East German swimming coaches and two sports doctors face charges brought by the German government of causing bodily harm. Alleged participants in a state-run, systematic campaign to boost the performances of Olympic athletes with drugs, they could face up to three years in prison.
The implications for the rest of the sports world are uncertain. There's little doubt that East Germany's doping practices, which were overseen by the Stasi, the German Democratic Republic's secret police, were more extensive than any other country's. But it's possible that the defendants—and perhaps some of the 18 athletes expected to testify—will talk about the pervasiveness of drug use in Olympic sports, and that has drug users in many other nations a little nervous.
At the very least the trial may have a far-reaching effect on the history of the Games. Already athletes from Great Britain and Australia who finished behind drug-using East Germans have begun asking Olympic officials to disqualify the dopers and rewrite the record books accordingly.