Sweet 16/Elite Eight host featured a botched court with unregulated court lines

After multiple games played in Portland, someone noticed something wrong with the 3-point lines of the court for the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight of the women's March Madness host floor.

Oregon State Beavers vs. Eastern Washington Eagles
Oregon State Beavers vs. Eastern Washington Eagles / Ali Gradischer/GettyImages

Basketball is a game played at two ends, and the hope is certainly that the faculties of the two sides of the court are as equitable as possible. A loose rim can make players feel like they're up against an unfair advantage. Sure, hostility from fans on the baseline is expected, but you hope that the equipment and court are all even.

Well, at the most important moment, it was discovered on Sunday that a women's March Madness court in Portland is not up to par. One 3-point line was shorter than regulation, giving a hypothetical advantage to the team shooting at the line that was closer to the basket.

Portland court features uneven 3-point lines for March Madness

This has the early makings of a scandal, for sure. The Moda Center court in Portland Oregon has uneven 3-point lines.

NC State and Texas agreed to play through the disparity once it was discovered on Sunday, but by that point, several games had already been played on the court that fell short of regulation standards.

Remember, teams switch ends at halftime, so in theory, this shouldn't give one team an edge over the other. But what if a team happens to get hot while they're on the end with the closer 3-point line? Or what if a team is already a more 3-point-heavy squad, and it plays to their strengths even more?

Surely, it's at least a minor edge to the team that gets the shorter line in the second half, when crunch time arrives.

While in the end it may be a minor difference of a few points, March Madness games are expected to be close and played on the margins. A couple of points here or there can wind up being all the difference.

Here is every game that has been played at the venue already, winners in parentheses:

  • Texas/Gonzaga (TEX)
  • NC State/Stanford (NC State)
  • Southern California/Baylor (SC)
  • UConn/Duke (UConn)

Did it have an impact? That'll take further examination as we learn more, but a cursory glance at first half/second half scoring suggests there may have been something amiss.

Duke scored 13 points in the first half against UConn, 32 in the second half. Gonzaga scored 18 in the first half, 31 in the second half. NC State had 27 points in the first half, 50 in the second against Stanford.

Not all of those had the second half at the same end of the court, however, and these scoring outbursts in one half to the next are common in basketball in general since it is a game of momentum.

Surely, NCAA will be triple-checking the lengths on the Final Four/Championship court.