Some bizarre and inexplicable officiating late helped St. John's get by Rutgers 65-63 as the Red Storm advanced to the Quarterfinals of the Big East tournament. What should have been a great end to the game was marred by the officials simply not doing their jobs in the final :30 of the game. The first gaffe came on a drive Mike Coburn where it appeared that he was clearly fouled on a play that could have given Rutgers the lead. Instead the officials let them play on and Rutgers was forced to foul. St. John's would miss the second free throw and a Red Storm player clearly went over the back as Rutgers tried to get the rebound and nothing was called.
But those two misses were nothing compared to the absolute travesty in the final seconds. Rutgers threw a poor inbounds pass on which another foul could possibly have been called and Justin Brownlee of St. John's came up witht he ball. However instead of just sitting on it, with a good three seconds left Brownlee just started running with the ball, clearly traveling. He then stepped out of bounds with 1.7 seconds left and fired the ball into the crowd. The officials just let the time run off the clock and sprinted off the court. A travel should have been called with about 3 seconds left, a turnover happened when he stepped out of bounds at 1.7 seconds & the same when Brownlee fired the ball into the crown with less than a second.
Jim Burr and Tim Higgins were the officials and after the game, the ESPN crew agreed that this crew should not ref another Big East game in this tournament. Their performance was an absolute embarrassment.
While the officials performance was shameful, the two teams really fought a war and both would have been deserving of a win. Here's the video of the end.