There’s no changing the outcome of Monday night’s NCAA Championship Game that saw Duke beat Wisconsin, 68-63, but Badgers fans got a little vindication on Tuesday when NCAA’s head of officiating John Adams admitted the referees made a wrong call in regards to a controversial tipped ball.
The play in question occurred in the second half when replay footage clearly shows the ball going out of bounds after touching the tips of Duke star Justise Winslow’s fingers. The referees, however, got a bad angle on it and awarded the ball to Duke. Wisconsin complained, prompting a replay review.
While the announcers and everyone at home got to see the footage that shows Winslow’s last touch, the referees, apparently, did not, according to Adams.
“We never saw on our monitor what everybody saw at home, if you can believe that…,” Adams said on Sirius XM’s college sports radio on Tuesday, adding all four referees at the game spent nearly two minutes examining the play.
Adams doesn’t throw all the blame on the new review system the NCAA invested in this year, noting the reviews have been “as quick as we’ve ever had them; they were really, really sharp,” but insinuates that perhaps there was some sort of glitch.
“We have been told time and time again, ‘Nobody at home will see anything you didn’t see,’ and I will tell you that is not what happened last night,” Adams said.
Adams also said he saw the play a little while after the referees made their wrong call and thought about interrupting the game.
“I saw it after they had left the monitor, and actually thought about, is it in my prerogative to get up, run over to the table, buzz the buzzer, and tell them to come back and look? That’s how critical I thought the play was,” Adams said, “but (I) concluded that this was a job for the guys on the floor.”
After the ball went back to Duke, Tyus Jones hit a clutch three-pointer that swung the momentum squarely in favor of the Blue Devils, who had trailed for the majority of the game.