Turgeon and Boeheim disagree on whether Faust was fouled
Maryland's furious comeback attempt against Syracuse Monday night presented a nice story, but a no-call on the Terps Nick Faust in the final seconds of the game became the bigger story. Faust drove hard to the basket with under 25 seconds left, and though there was contact with a Syracuse player, no foul was called.
After the 57-55 loss, Terps coach Mark Turgeon said that the refs missed the call, and a foul should have been whistled. Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim did not appreciate Turgeon's comments, and commented on the foul shot disparity in the game. The Terps shot 27 free throws to Syracuse's six, a noticeable difference.
But after digesting yet another close Terps loss, looking back at foul calls throughout ACC play yields some interesting results.
In their final ACC season before moving to the Big Ten, many Maryland fans cried foul at a conference schedule that for the first time in the 60-plus year history of the league featured no home games against traditional rivals North Carolina, North Carolina State or Duke. In that same vein, Terps fans suggested that Maryland would receive no breaks from ACC officials this basketball season.
Through Monday's ACC action, foul statistics might support some conspiracy theorists.
Per CSN Washington researcher Mike Lynch, in 15 conference games the Terps have been whistled for 20.9 fouls per game, good for No. 1 in the ACC. The Terps are called for almost a full foul per game more than second-ranked Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons are whistled for 20 fouls per game. Duke ranks next at 19.7 fouls per conference game.
The Terps are whistled 3.2 more times than their opponents in ACC play, highest differential in the conference. To compare, Duke gets called for one more foul per game than their ACC opponents. On the flip side, Virginia gets called 2.5 fewer times than their conference foes.
Some of this makes sense. Maryland tends to play man-to-man defense, and at times plays a frenetic full-court press, which can result in fouls. On the other hand, the disparities are large enough to take notice.
Terps fans will tell you that Maryland has never gotten the best treatment from ACC referees. In their final season in the conference, the numbers seem to support the theory.