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.
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.
|More College Basketball coverage|