March Madness: 3-point line at Portland NCAA tournament games was 9 inches short

A bizarre scene took place in Portland ahead of Sunday's NCAA women's tournament game between NC State and Texas as officials took out measuring tapes to measure the distance of the 3-point lines.

It turns out that one of them was short. The NCAA announced in a statement on Monday that the 3-point line on one side of the court was nine inches shorter than regulation.

Per the statement, "the center-hole" on the court was punched in the wrong place, leading to the discrepancy. The statement cited "human error by the finisher contracted by Connor Sports" as the cause of the misplaced line. Connor Sports is the NCAA's supplier "hired to produce and install all men’s and women’s basketball predetermined site tournament courts," according to the statement.

"The center-hole was placed approximately 9 inches from the center of the basket, causing the arc of the 3-point line to be approximately 9 inches short at the apex of the arc," the statement reads.

The center-hole is defined as follows, per the statement:

"For all NCAA courts, a small hole is punched in the floor at each end of the court that indicates 'center-of-basket' during the finishing process."

Per the statement, the sides of the 3-point line were properly placed. It also said the 3-point arc on the opposite side of the court and all other lines were also properly marked.

Stanford's Tara VanDerveer: 'Unacceptable and extremely upsetting'

Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer — whose Cardinal lost to NC State while playing on the improperly marked court — offered pointed criticism of the error in a statement provided to media Monday afternoon.

“What happened with the court in Portland is inexcusable and unfair to every team that played on it," VanDerveer's statement reads. "When you arrive at a gym, especially in the NCAA tournament, at the very least you expect the baskets to be 10 feet and the floor markings to be correct.

"For an error of that magnitude to overshadow what has been an incredible two weekends of basketball featuring sensational teams and incredible individual performances is unacceptable and extremely upsetting.”

NC State, Texas played on despite erroneous line

The discrepancy was discovered prior to Sunday's regional final between the Wolfpack and Longhorns. With the discovery made just prior to tip, the game was played with the misplaced lines. Each team played a half with the shorter 3-point line.

NC State shot 9 of 18 from 3-point distance in a 77-66 win. Texas went 1 for 6. The Wolfpack actually performed better on the regulation line, where they shot 6 of 9 from long-distance, according to the statement.

Four prior NCAA tournament games were played on the court before the error was discovered, all of them in the Sweet 16. UConn and USC will play the final game on the court Monday night in the tournament's last regional final. The court will be regulation for the Huskies and Trojans.

"Overnight in Portland, the incorrect 3-point line was painted over with a color that matches as closely as possible the wood grain of the floor, and the correct 3-point line was painted on in black," the statement reads. "This change brings the court into full compliance with NCAA playing rules."

The NCAA also announced that it inspected all other courts in play in the men's and women's NCAA tournaments including those in place for the Final Four and that they were up to regulation.

The NCAA vowed more stringent quality control measures moving forward.

“We apologize for this error and the length of time for which it went unnoticed," the statement reads. "Simply put, this court did not meet our expectations, and the NCAA should have caught the error sooner.

“We will work with all of the NCAA’s suppliers and vendors to establish additional quality control measures to ensure this does not happen in future tournaments.”