Referees Confess to Blown Call in NCAA Final (Video) *UPDATE*
With just under two minutes remaining in the NCAA Finals and Duke leading Wisconsin by five points, the referees awarded possession to Duke after the ball went out of bounds over the baseline. Then they went over to the scorer’s table to review the play. Given how tight the game was, and given what was at stake, they wanted to make sure they got that crucial call right. And after reviewing the play for two minutes, the referees stuck with their initial call. Wisconsin touched the ball last, they determined, so it was Duke’s ball.
The problem? Everybody watching the game at home in glorious HD had a replay that showed beyond a shadow of a doubt that Duke’s Justise Winslow had touched the ball. The refs totally blew that call.
In an interview on SiriusXM on Tuesday, John Adams, the NCAA’s supervisor of officials, said the refs didn’t see the definitive angle. “All four of our officials were involved in the review,” Adams explained. “We never saw on our monitor what everybody saw at home, if you can believe that.”
Of course, we can believe that, because the only other explanation for why the refs would have awarded the ball to Duke is bribery.
What we can’t believe is what Adams said next:
“I saw it after they had left the monitor, and actually thought about: Is it in my prerogative to get up, run over the table, buzz the buzzer and tell them to come back and look? That’s how critical I thought the play was, and concluded that this is a job for the guys on the floor and I’ve never done this before, why would I do it tonight and perhaps change the balance of the game?”
That’s right. The NCAA’s supervisor of officials realized the refs had blown the call because they hadn’t seen the right angle, and he could have called them over and showed them the replay we all saw. But he didn’t. Because the supervisor of officials didn’t think it was his job to supervise the officials.
UPDATE: According to NCAA VP Dan Gavitt, they did see it!!!
Hat Tip – [ESPN]