The NCAA is saying it was “human error” that led to the embarrassing realization that the 3-point lines at the women’s basketball tournament site at Moda Center in Portland, Oregon were incorrectly measured. 

The 3-point lines were roughly nine inches “short at the apex of the arc,” Lynn Holzman, NCAA vice president for women’s basketball, explained in a detailed letter released on Monday, and placed the mismeasurement on an independent contractor who finished the court in Portland. 

The NCAA uses courts produced by Connor Sports and the court supplier contracted out finishing the court to a third party, which made the now infamous error. 

A hole at the center of the court used to place where the center of the net is was punched in the wrong spot – approximately nine inches from where it should have been – and that led tot the errors with the arc of the 3-point line. 

“Connor Sports and the NCAA found the inaccurate line was the result of human error by the finisher contracted by Connor Sports. The review also found the sides of the 3-point line were accurately painted, as were all other court markings,” the letter read. 

The NCAA did correct the issue overnight, painting over the incorrect lines with a color that matched the coloring of the floor and repainted the 3-point lines correctly in black. 

College sports’ governing body also said that it confirmed at other venues for the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments that the on-court markings were correct. 

The incorrect 3-point lines were only noticed on Sunday before Texas faced NC State in the Elite Eight at Moda Center, notifying both coaches of the discovery at roughly noon local time. 

By that time, four games had already been played on the court with the inaccurate 3-point lines and to make the matter an even bigger embarrassment for the NCAA, the mistake was only allegedly discovered due to an eagle-eyed fan in attendance, the Washington Post reported. 

Lawyer Michael McGrath just happened to buy last-minute tickets in the 300s and snapped pictures to post on Reddit, and claimed that he informed a fan nearby him who seemed to know someone working the tournament to let them know about the issue. 

The NCAA did not confirm that a fan was the first to make them aware of the problem.  

“We apologize for this error and the length of time for which it went unnoticed,” Holzman wrote. “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.” 

One final game will be played in Portland on Monday as UConn faces USC for a trip to the Final Four

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