It is always a shame to see such major officiating mistakes mar the end of an exciting game. Besides the series of non-calls on fouls which went against Rutgers, the officials blatantly missed a travel and an out of bounds call with time left on the clock.
In the ESPN coverage, you can see more details that show how egregious the mistakes are:
The failure of Jim Burr, Tim Higgins and Earl Walton to officiate until the final buzzer of the St. John’s-Rutgers Big East second-round game Wednesday at Madison Square Garden was “unacceptable,” the head of the NCAA’s officiating told ESPN.com.
John Adams, who is in charge of selecting and managing the 98 officials for the NCAA tournament, said whether those three advance to work the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament “is not my business.”
St. John’s beat Rutgers 65-63 Wednesday. But Rutgers should have had one more shot attempt to tie or win because the Red Storm’s Justin Brownlee stole a pass from Rutgers’ Gilvydas Biruta but then traveled while celebrating and then stepped out of bounds with 1.7 seconds remaining on the clock, according to the ESPN broadcast. Brownlee then hurled the ball in the stands as his coach, Steve Lavin, was walking down the sideline to shake Rutgers coach Mike Rice’s hands. The officials had exited the court.
“Not officiating to the end of a game is unacceptable,” Adams said.
Crazy ending. But the real question is why we have to accept these types of mistakes when you have replay and the clear ability to resolve the situation. You will never be able to make up for missed judgment calls (i.e. fouls), but why should a game end with time on the clock after a player takes multiple steps and throws the ball in the stands?