New York, NY--
A day after one of what will probably go down as one of the worst calls in NCAA basketball history, the set of officials have withdrawn from the remainder of the tournament.
The three officials -- Jim Burr, Tim Higgins and Earl Walton -- were criticized for failing to officiate until the final buzzer of the second-round game at Madison Square Garden.
St. John\'s Justin Brownlee, stole a pass from Rutgers\' Gilvydas Biruta, traveled while celebrating and stepped out of bounds with 1.7 seconds remaining, according to the ESPN broadcast. then hurled the ball into the stands as his coach, Steve Lavin, was walking down the sideline to shake the hand of Rutgers coach Mike Rice. By that time, the officials had left the court. But what they had missed was Brownlee stepping out of bounds in front of the scorers table.
Unforturnately the call is non reviewable and punishable under NCAA regulations, but perhaps the lack of missing a huge call by three officials will prompt some changes in the way reviews are looked at by the league and officials.
According to Rutgers Head Coach Mike Rice, it may not have changed the outcome of the game, but 1.7 seconds in a game is a lot of time and to have the ball at half court could have given us at least one touch at the ball and a chance to tie the game. Instead St. John\'s advanced to face Syracuse in a second round game.