3-point lines not the same distance at Portland Regional

Mar 31, 2024; Portland, OR, USA; NC State Wolfpack guard Aziaha James (10) slides in confetti with teammates, forward Maddie Cox (11) and guard Zoe Brooks (35) in celebration after a game against the Texas Longhorns in the finals of the Portland Regional of the NCAA Tournament at the Moda Center center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

In a well-known scene in the movie “Hoosiers,” Gene Hackman’s character gets out a tape measure to show his players that the dimensions of the court where they are about to play are the same as usual as a means of encouraging his team not to be intimidated by a larger playing venue.

Perhaps the officials at the Portland Regional in the 2024 Women’s Basketball Tournament at Moda Arena could have used recalled Norman Dale, as it was revealed Sunday — after multiple games had already been played — that the dimensions of each 3-point line didn’t match.

The discrepancy apparently wasn’t discovered until Texas coach Vic Schaefer and North Carolina State coach Wes Moore met with officials during pregame warmups to speak about the issue, with the tape measure being broke out to verify the problem.

Per the ESPN broadcast, the two teams agreed to continue their game with the quirky 3-point lines in place, a game that the No. 3 seed Wolfpack won over top-seeded Texas 76-66 to advance to the Final Four. But what made the situation truly bizarre was that it took this long for the problem to be discovered, or at least acknowledged.

Sweet 16 games between NC State and Stanford, Texas and Gonzaga, UConn and Duke and Baylor and Southern California had all been played prior to anyone acknowledging the different distances, despite the discrepancy being notable to the naked eye.

The NCAA responded to the unusual circumstance Sunday afternoon, issuing a statement that read in part, “The NCAA was notified today that the three-point lines on the court at Moda Center in Portland are not the same distance. The two head coaches were made aware of the discrepancy and elected to play a complete game on the court as is, rather than correcting the court and delaying the game. The court will be corrected before tomorrow’s game in Portland.”

The final game schedule to be played in Portland, with a spot in the Final Four on the line, will be contested between No. 1 seed Southern Cal and No. 3 seed UConn.

–Field Level Media

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