April 1, 2024 

NCAA apologizes and fixes errant 3-point line in Portland

Court will be ready for UConn-USC Elite Eight matchup

PORTLAND, Ore. — The NCAA has repaired the errant 3-point line on the court at Moda Center in time for Monday night’s Elite Eight matchup between No. 1 USC and No. 3 UConn, and provided an explanation for the mistake, which was not caught until Sunday — after four games had been played.

Continue reading with a subscription to The Next

Get unlimited access to women’s basketball coverage and help support our hardworking staff of writers, editors, and photographers by subscribing today.

Join today

The NCAA identified Connor Sports as the supplier that produces and installs all men’s and women’s courts at predetermined tournament sites.

The Next, a 24/7/365 women’s basketball newsroom

The Next: A basketball newsroom brought to you by The IX. 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage, written, edited and photographed by our young, diverse staff and dedicated to breaking news, analysis, historical deep dives and projections about the game we love.

“For all NCAA courts, a small hole is punched in the floor at each end of the court that indicates ‘center-of-basket’ during the finishing process,” the NCAA said in the release, signed by Lynn Holzman, vice president for women’s basketball. “A calibrated vinyl-tape device is then placed in the hole, which lays the 2-inch game line to be painted.”

Following the conclusion of the Texas–NC State game, which both programs had agreed to continue despite the discovery of the asymmetrical 3-point arcs, the NCAA worked with a technician from Connor Sports to inspect the court markings. 

“Review of the Portland court found the center-hole was punched in the wrong position, which resulted in the incorrect arc measurement for the 3-point line,” the release read. “The center-hole was placed approximately 9 inches from the center of the basket, causing the arc of the 3-point line to be approximately 9 inches short at the apex of the arc. Connor Sports and the NCAA found the inaccurate line was the result of human error by the finisher contracted by Connor Sports.”

Get 24/7 soccer coverage with The Equalizer

The Next is partnering with The Equalizer to bring more women’s sports stories to your inbox. Subscribers to The Next receive 50% off their subscription to The Equalizer for 24/7 coverage of women’s soccer.

The review also found the sides of the 3-point line were accurately painted, as were all other court markings.

The incorrect 3-point line was repaired overnight and painted over with a color that closely resembles the wood grain. The correct 3-point line was painted in black. The court is now in compliance with NCAA rules.

Both courts for the women’s and men’s Final Four have since been inspected and are in compliance. All other courts at predetemined sites were also deemed to be in compliance.

Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer, whose team played on the floor Friday night, falling to North Carolina State in the Sweet 16, called it a “definite problem” and issued a statement.

“What happened with the court in Portland is inexcusable and unfair to every team that played on it,” VanDerveer said. “When you arrive at a gym, especially in the NCAA Tournament, at the very least you expect the baskets to be 10 feet and the floor markings to be correct.

“For an error of that magnitude to overshadow what has been an incredible two weekends of basketball featuring sensational teams and incredible individual performances is unacceptable and extremely upsetting.”

Additionally, the NCAA released the 3-point shooting statistics for games already played on the court, both in the accurate and inaccurate side.

In five games, teams shooting from the inaccurate line shot a collective 23-of-89, for 25.8%. From the accurate line, teams collectively shot 29-of-87, for 33.3%.

“The error in Portland was an isolated incident,” said the release. “We apologize for this error and the length of time for which it went unnoticed. Simply put, this court did not meet our expectations, and the NCAA should have caught the error sooner.”

Add Locked On Women’s Basketball to your daily routine

Here at The Next, in addition to the 24/7/365 written content our staff provides, we also host the daily Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast. Join us Monday through Saturday each week as we discuss all things WNBA, collegiate basketball, basketball history and much more. Listen wherever you find podcasts or watch on YouTube.

Written by Michelle Smith

Michelle Smith has covered women's basketball nationally for nearly three decades. Smith has worked for ESPN.com, The Athletic, the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as Pac-12.com and WNBA.com. She was named to the Alameda County Women's Hall of Fame in 2015, is the 2017 recipient of the Jake Wade Media Award from the Collegiate Sports Information Directors Association (CoSIDA) and was named the Mel Greenberg Media Award winner by the WBCA in 2019.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.