After trailing by 18 at halftime, Northwestern cut the deficit against No. 1 Gonzaga to five in the second half.
Looking to complete the comeback, the Wildcats got an offensive rebound and looked to lay the ball in. Gonzaga forward Zach Collins blocked the attempt – but did so by sticking his hand through the rim, which should be a goaltending violation. The officials missed the call, and the NCAA issued the following statement after the game:
With 4:57 remaining in this evening’s second-round game between Gonzaga and Northwestern, the officials missed a rules violation when a Gonzaga defender put his arm through the rim to block a shot. Rule 9, Section 15 of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Book covers Basket Interference and Goaltending. Article 2.a.3 states that basket interference occurs when a player reaches through the basket from below and touches the ball before it enters the cylinder. Replays showed the Gonzaga defender violated this rule, which should have resulted in a scored basket by Northwestern.
Subsequently, with 4:54 remaining in the game and based on bench decorum rules outlined in the rules book, a technical foul was assessed to Northwestern head coach Chris Collins for coming on to the floor to argue the non-call while the ball was in play.