Tara VanDerveer criticizes 3-point line foul in women's NCAA tournament: 'Inexcusable and unfair'

Stanford women's basketball coach Tara VanDerVeer said a measurement error that marked the 9 inches short of the 3-point line in the first five games of the Portland Regional of the women's NCAA Tournament was “inexcusable and unfair. The team that played it.”

“When you come into a gym, especially in the NCAA tournament, you expect at least the baskets to be 10 feet and the floor markings to be correct,” Vanderveer said in a statement Monday. “An error of that magnitude to overshadow an incredible two weekends of basketball with exciting teams and incredible individual performances is unacceptable and deeply regrettable.”

The NCAA said Monday it fixed the problem ahead of the Elite Eight game between No. 1 USC and No. 3 Connecticut. That game is set for Monday at 9:15pm ET.

No. 1 Texas and no. 3 NC State The NCAA was informed before Sunday's tipping that the two lines were not tied. The Texas bench line was correct, but the NC State bench line was too short, and both teams elected to play the game without a court correction.

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The NCAA has not confirmed how it first discovered the problem, but a finisher contracted by Connor Sports, the official vendor of men's and women's NCAA tournament courts since 2006, called it “human error.” In a statement it wants to catch the error as soon as possible.

The NCAA said Monday that the foul 3-point line was drawn “with a color that matches as closely as possible the grain of the wood on the floor.” The exact 3-point line — 22 feet, 1 3/4 inches from the basket — is marked in black.

A revised 3-point line was marked in black on the court at the Moda Center in Portland, Ore., the NCAA said. (Photo: Ashley Young / The Athletic)

According to the NCAA, the foul only affected the top of the 3-point line.

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NC State and Texas coaches said the error did not affect their teams' performance. NC State shot 50 percent from beyond the arc Sunday, and even though the Longhorns shot just 17 percent from deep, coach Vic Schaefer didn't blame his team's struggles on a measurement error. It was only after the game that his players discovered there was a discrepancy.

The NCAA on Monday sent out a statistical analysis of how the foul line affected teams.

Stanford shot 5-for-25 from behind in the Cardinal's 77-67 loss to NC State at the Moda Center on Friday, while NC State was 3-for-17 from 3-point range. On the side of the inaccurate 3-point line, the Cardinal made 2 of 13 3-pointers (15.4 percent). They made 3 of 12 shots (25 percent) with the right line beyond the arc on the sideline.

The NCAA called the issue an “isolated incident” and reviewed all other courts previously used in men's and women's competitions and found them to be accurate.

“We apologize for this error and the fact that it was overlooked,” the NCAA said. “Simply put, this court did not meet our expectations, and the NCAA should have caught the error sooner.”

“We will work with all of the NCAA's suppliers and vendors to establish additional quality control measures to ensure this does not happen in future tournaments.”

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(Photo: Candice Ward / USA Today)

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