I was driving during the second half of the Florida State-North Carolina ACC championship game, and listened to the play-by-play on the radio. I swear that every time ESPN announcers Bob Valvano and Bill Rosinski complained about a call, the call went against North Carolina.
Based on the broadcast, officials had a vendetta. They disliked the Tar Heels and they loved Florida State. How was North Carolina supposed to compete in such an environment?
If you watch ACC basketball, you know that some teams get more calls than others. These teams are, in alphabetical order, Duke and North Carolina.
Officials don't go into games planning to give one team a break. But they're human, most of them. They're influenced by reputation and mystique. So when a Blue Devil or Tar Heel makes a silly and uncharacteristic mistake, officials might ask themselves if representatives of those programs really would do that.
But on Sunday, according to the broadcasters, officials instead were influenced by Florida State's history of sustained basketball excellence and ever-present mystique.