Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Boise State Robbery

UPDATE: The Mountain West Conference has released a statement acknowledging that an error occurred at the end of the game, based on erroneous information provided to the refs by the replay technology. Here is an excellent analysis of the elapsed time at the end of the game. The error appears to originate with DVSports, the firm that provides replay technology to the MWC and NCAA. One question would be whether or not Boise State might have any actionable claim against DVSport for the loss (e.g., if the loss contributes to missing the post-season). I'll ask around.

In class today we discussed the controversial ending to yesterday's Boise State-Colorado State basketball game. Have a look at the ESPN video above for the details.

The short story is that Boise State made an incredible, improbable last second shot (actually last sub-second shot, the inbounds play began with 0.8 second remaining in the game), which the officials ruled did not occur because the clock did not start at the right time.

Here is what the game official later said:

The NCAA Rulebook says (p. 62 here in PDF):
When an obvious mistake by the shot-clock operator has occurred in failing to start, stop, set or reset the shot clock or when a shot clock has malfunctioned, the mistake or the malfunctioning problem may be corrected in the shot-clock period in which it occurred only when the official has definite information relative to the mistake or malfunctioning problem and the time involved. When a timing mistake or malfunctioning problem occurs that gives a team more time than that team is entitled to, any activity after the mistake or malfunctioning problem has been committed and until it has been rectified shall be canceled, excluding any flagrant foul or technical foul.
A lot hinges on the phrase "obvious mistake" here, but it seems clear from the ESPN replay and timing in the video above that there was no obvious mistake.  In fact, there was no mistake at all.
Perhaps Boise State should protest the result?

The NCAA has that covered (p. 62 of its rule book):
The NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee does not recognize or allow protests.
The referees botched this one pretty good. Although Boise State will not get an earned victory, hopefully the Mountain West or NCAA has some way to sanction to officiating crew.

HT: SB Nation for the Tweets above.


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