Is this a goal tend? Honestly, I don't know. I don't even know if that ball was going to touch the rim, and even if it did, it certainly wasn't going in. Pretty sure the reason the rule exists is to stop players from blocking or interfering with potential points. That shot was a couple of things. A terrible decision. A pretty awful shot. However, if there is one thing it wasn't it's a potential basket. Yes, the ball had reached it's downward trajectory. Yes, it was still above the rim. No, it had no possibility of going in. I don't want to kill the official too much. With a split second decision he sided with the letter of the law and not the spirit of the rule. However, don't try to tell me that it wasn't the wrong call. Don't expect me to feel okay about a game winning shot that would have merely scrapped the underside of the rim. These NCAA tournament games are full of glory and despair. There is always going to be a winner and a loser. However, what no one wants to see is a judgement call decide the fates of these kids with so much at stake. When in doubt, put the whistles away. Let the game decide itself. It's why the level of play becomes more physical in the NBA and NHL playoffs. It's why penalties in overtime are more scarce. It's why you generally don't call a shooting foul on a game winning attempt. The officials job is to make sure the game goes smoothly without having a effect on the result. If he let's that play develop as is no one would be complaining that goaltending wasn't called. Generally speaking, the less controversial option is the right option.
How about UCLA, huh? I feel like they are a blind kid that keeps bowling strikes. Just winning and advancing on no merit of their own. Blind luck at it's finest. First they get into the tournament by accident, and now they advance on a game winning shot that didn't even graze the rim. If you were supposed to advance by being oh-so-close the entire plot of 'The Mighty Ducks' would change. Gordon Bombay would have 'scored' on the breakaway because hitting the post is "close enough". Coach Reilly would be 15 years into retirement and Gordon would be coaching the dreaded Hawks. That's not how that movie was supposed to go, and it's not how this game was supposed to go. Take everything else out of it, does it feel right that UCLA advances on that shot? I know it doesn't feel right to me. Certainly will be quite the story if UCLA is able to turn this into a Cinderella run of sorts. At some point that might require more than dumb luck and the benefit of discretionary calls.