Blog Entry

Refs overshadow terrific Rutgers-St. John's game

Posted on: March 9, 2011 5:15 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2011 8:45 pm
 

Posted by Jeff Borzello

A back-and-forth game between area rivals St. John’s and Rutgers should have been remembered for a fantastic finish or, at the very least, a hard-fought 40 minutes.

Instead, the only being talked about is the ending. More specifically, the refereeing debacle that took place in the final five seconds of the game.  

For now, let’s ignore the no-call on Mike Coburn’s potential game-winning attempt with seven seconds left and a missed over-the-back call on an offensive rebound with under six seconds remaining.

With 4.7 seconds left, Rutgers had the ball under its own basket, down by two. A half-court pass to Gil Biruta was knocked away – another potential foul that was missed.

And this is where the confusion began.

St. John’s forward Justin Brownlee picked the ball up with 2.3 seconds left, takes three steps without dribbling, steps out of bounds and then rifles the ball into the crowd. Nothing was called. Not a travel, not him stepping on the sidelines with 1.7 seconds left, not a potential technical for throwing the ball into the crowd during a live game.

Nothing.

If you give the referees the benefit of the doubt on the Coburn shot, the offensive rebound or the pass deflection, that’s questionable but understandable. But something needed to be called in the last 1.7 seconds. A travel, an out-of-bounds call. Something.

Unfortunately, no whistle was blown and the buzzer sounded. Jim Burr, Tim Higgins and co. quickly scurried into the locker room.

As a result, no one will remember the tremendous Big East tournament game between St. John’s.

The post-game discussion will focus on Burr and Higgins. And, who knows, that might be how they wanted it. 

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Comments

Since: Jul 27, 2009
Posted on: March 10, 2011 10:46 am
 

Refs overshadow terrific Rutgers-St. John's game

lawboy - u r dead on - Coach Rice could have somewhat justifiably gone on some pointed rant at the officiating crew. But yes, he handled it really well.  Considering there were two 1st year Beast head coaches on the floor, both Rice and Lavs imho are the new guard that will be in the upper half of the conference in upcoming years.
That being said, most of us even half serious fans know who Burr and Higgins. These two have worked multiple NCAA finals and Final Fours. I am in disbelief at how they ate their whistles. They didn't use the buzzer as a guide, no going back to the video (why didn't Rice demand it? Maybe with no call he cannot have them go to video for the clock? I think that's why.) It's disappointing as these two have been in the Beast right around its inception.  Physically, Higgins is carrying around much more wieght than even 5 years ago. He pulled his hammy in a SJU game 2 weeks ago.  The 3 ref set-up have extended both Burr's and Higgin's time out on the court beyond what they would have normally gotten w/ 2 man crews. Time to retire within a year or two. Much like the players, they get used to the money and are stocking away some retirement funds by my estimation.  It takes a while to get to the top and it's hard to leave!
Good luck next year to the Scarlet Knights. I hope the Knights and Johnnies start whacking some of the top rivals! 



Since: Jul 27, 2009
Posted on: March 10, 2011 10:46 am
 

Refs overshadow terrific Rutgers-St. John's game

lawboy - u r dead on - Coach Rice could have somewhat justifiably gone on some pointed rant at the officiating crew. But yes, he handled it really well.  Considering there were two 1st year Beast head coaches on the floor, both Rice and Lavs imho are the new guard that will be in the upper half of the conference in upcoming years.
That being said, most of us even half serious fans know who Burr and Higgins. These two have worked multiple NCAA finals and Final Fours. I am in disbelief at how they ate their whistles. They didn't use the buzzer as a guide, no going back to the video (why didn't Rice demand it? Maybe with no call he cannot have them go to video for the clock? I think that's why.) It's disappointing as these two have been in the Beast right around its inception.  Physically, Higgins is carrying around much more wieght than even 5 years ago. He pulled his hammy in a SJU game 2 weeks ago.  The 3 ref set-up have extended both Burr's and Higgin's time out on the court beyond what they would have normally gotten w/ 2 man crews. Time to retire within a year or two. Much like the players, they get used to the money and are stocking away some retirement funds by my estimation.  It takes a while to get to the top and it's hard to leave!
Good luck next year to the Scarlet Knights. I hope the Knights and Johnnies start whacking some of the top rivals! 



Since: Mar 27, 2007
Posted on: March 9, 2011 7:04 pm
 

Refs overshadow terrific Rutgers-St. John's game

(BIAS ALERT:  I am a rutgers alum)

Having acknowledged that, I don't think there can be any argument that the referees blew a couple of calls toward the end of that game.  But, more important than that, I am proud of the way that Coach Rice handled the matter in his post-game comments, and in his telephone call with ESPN.  He talked about how he appreciates the tough job that the referees have, and that he wants to concentrate on the outstanding effort displayed by his Rutgers squad.  He even called the officials the best in the world.

Okay, I think the last comment may have gone a bit too far, but clearly Coach Rice is taking the high road, and exemplifying what college athletics SHOULD be.  I am proud of the effort given by our team this year, and I look forward to a better season in 2011-2012.



Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: March 9, 2011 6:59 pm
 

Refs overshadow terrific Rutgers-St. John's game

Will the Big East office ever get some spine and get rid of these two old, arrogant, unqualified cancers?  EVERY team in the conference absolutely dreads when Burr or Higgins refs their game.  There are "Ref Watch" threads on message boards, as fans pray throughout the day that Burr and Higgins will be spotted at another game and not be at their team's game.  This has gone on far enough, and just the latest of many games they've decided instead of the players with their absolutely incompetent officiating.  No one anywhere else keeps their job year in and year out with this poor of performance.




Since: Apr 2, 2008
Posted on: March 9, 2011 6:32 pm
 

Refs overshadow terrific Rutgers-St. John's game

Tim Higgins huh? As a Bama fan it all makes sense to me now. Does anyone remember the Bama/Vandy game? We should have all seen this coming. Will someone please fire this guy for goodness sake.



Since: Dec 20, 2008
Posted on: March 9, 2011 6:08 pm
 

How often can't the refs keep the pace?

Being an avid college basketball fan and a soccer enthusiast here in Europe, it is difficult to fathom such a blown call with 3 refs on the floor for a total of 10 players in a court that is half the size of a normal soccer field - which has ONE decision maker on the pitch (field).  Watching those 'experts' run off the court on the final whistle has something to say about their 'non-call'.  Let's just hope that they're not involved in further decisions, i.e. any kind of upcoming tournament.  The sport deserves better .  . .!



Since: Jul 17, 2010
Posted on: March 9, 2011 5:24 pm
 

Refs overshadow terrific Rutgers-St. John's game

Jim Burr has no business being a ref,everytime I see a big game he seems to be in it and continually blows calls and is one sided towards teams,Why do they keep putting him in those games?I was a fan of neither team in this game but you cannot miss a call like that at the end,go to the tape and give them the ball back or a tech foul.Totally changes the outcome of the game.A poor job by the officials once again.Refs are starting to decide games in all sports anymore.Worst year I have ever seen for refs in all sports.Get some new guys in.



Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: March 9, 2011 5:22 pm
 

Refs overshadow terrific Rutgers-St. John's game

Your last sentence makes no sense - the focus will be on the referees, and that might be how the REFS wanted it?  How the Big East wanted it?  Why would anyone want to take away the spotlight from such a great game (at least 39:53 of a great game).


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