This has been, quite possibly, the worst officiating I have seen outside of junior high girls ball.
To be certain, that has nothing to do with Duke being in control of this game. The Blue Devils are extremely good and they are hitting on all cylinders. They are quicker than Bucknell at every position and their pressure defense has the Bison completely out of sync.
Ralph Willard would love the way Duke is playing D. They have active hands, are getting in the passing lanes, getting deflections aplenty. Bucknell has 13 turnovers in the half -- almost a game's worth -- against Duke's full court trapping pressure.
In the first 20 minutes, the Bison shot 7-27 (25.9 percent). Even when they get open looks, the shots seem rushed, no doubt because it seems almost every time they touch the ball someone from Duke is there slapping at it.
Without Chris McNaughton's 10 points, it would be even worse. McNaughton is the only Bison remotely on his game it seems. Abe Badmus has 5 turnovers and just one assist. Kevin Bettencourt is 0-7 from the field.
On the other half of the box, J.J. Redick has 16 points, leading the Cameron Crazies to take up a chant of "JJ's winning" that lasted until Bucknell finally had more points than the Duke star.
Back to the officiating. It is not the ACC crew you might have expected. In fact, the trio working the game -- Joe Lindsey, Reggie Greenwood and Bernard Clinton are familiar faces around the Patriot League. But they have been absolutely horrible, especially in the first eight minutes or so, when Bucknell was hit with six team fouls before Duke picked up its first. Hard to remember the last time I witnessed somebody playing full court pressure defense, trapping all over the floor, without getting a single foul in almost eight minutes.
Among the calls against the Bison, a Darren Mastropaolo foul for letting his face be in the way of Sheldon Williams' elbow.
When Lindsey finally called a foul on a Duke defender for saddling up Badmus and riding him as he brought the ball up the floor late in the first half, the Bucknell contingent let out a huge mock cheer.
Again, that is not why Bucknell is losing. But Duke is plenty good enough, they don't need the zebras' help.
More after the game.