Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 22 No. 44
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

Popping off: NCAA avoids a messy confetti problem

The NCAA tournament’s championship game delivered several memorable images, most notably from Villanova’s Kris Jenkins and North Carolina’s Marcus Paige.

Here’s another one: exploding fireworks and descending confetti before the game was officially over. Within a second or two of Jenkins’ buzzer-beater to win the game, someone from the NCAA or one of its partners pushed the button on the postgame celebration, sending fireworks and confetti streaming from the center-hung scoreboard.

The problem was that the three officials had not yet reviewed the final shot to make sure it counted, and also to see if any time should have been left on the clock. If the refs had decided to extend the game with more time or go into overtime, a massive cleanup would have been required.

ESPN analyst Jay Bilas tweeted: “NCAA with some premature release of confetti. Good thing that shot got off on time. Would’ve been a lot of sweeping to start play again.”

The NCAA at first said the confetti came out just as it was intended. Later, the association’s event management group said it would examine the postgame celebration: “Every year we review every aspect of the tournament, from the start of the selection process through the postgame protocol for the title game.”

But there was no admission that something went wrong with the quick release, or who was responsible.