Category Archives: Tim Higgins

Big East Debacle Day 2

Word came out a couple of hours ago that the three officials involved in the Rutgers/St. John’s game yesterday have “voluntarily” withdrawn from the rest of the Big East Tournament. It was a move that absolutely had to be made. They should be held out of the NCAA Tournament this year as well because no one is going to take them seriously for a while after yesterday’s disgrace.

I understand mistakes happen but the events of yesterday crossed the line. Doris Burke, who was calling the game on the ESPN broadcast said it right away that the referees stopped doing their jobs in the final minute and he is absolutely right. What was up with the official running off the court before the game was over? Don’t these guys hang around to shake hands with coaches and players? The visual of it was strange and gives room for people with conspiracy theories to swoop in. 

Yahoo has a really good article on this. “The way that final sequence played out was flat-out unprofessional,” Yahoo’s Ryan Greene writes, “not just with the absence of a call, but by Burr and his cohorts blowing Rice and his players off completely.”

I can’t believe Jim Burr is in the stands today. Send him home. ESPN’s Dana O’Neil has an interesting read on Tim Higgins.

Carl Bialik of the Wall Street Journal didn’t go easy on the officials either. 

It was all reminiscent of Chris Webber’s timeout call with 11 seconds left in the 1993 championship game. His team, Michigan, famously didn’t have any left, which led to a technical foul and clinched the win for North Carolina. But the call never would have happened if a ref within a few feet of Webber had called him six seconds earlier for a clear travel. That violation would, in retrospect, have hurt Michigan less than the timeout did, because it would have cost Michigan the ball, but with more time left and without giving North Carolina foul shots. But Moskowitz and Wertheim argue that refs are biased toward not making judgment calls late in games, for fear of determining the game’s outcome. On the timeout the refs had no choice: “Unlike a traveling violation, when a player motions for a time-out and his team has exhausted its ration, well, that’s not a judgment call. That’s a call an official has to make even in the waning seconds of an exhilarating championship game.” Substitute “when a player steps out of bounds by a wide margin” and “an exhilarating conference tournament game” into that sentence, and you have a good description of the end of Rutgers-St. John’s, only this time officials didn’t make the call.

Here is what the back pages looked like in New York today. 

By the way what did you see the recap on the Big East website? They don’t even acknowledge the end of the game. 

One more major gripe. People need to stop saying that “good thing this didn’t happen in the NCAA Tournament” or “good thing it didn’t cost someone a spot in the NCAA Tournament.” But as Dan Levy correctly pointed out in his podcast today, it potentially did. No one is saying that Rutgers would have gone on to run the table but the winner of this tournament does get an automatic berth. 

Mike Rice Quotes:

“I have not heard any response from the Big East or the officials, for three of them to — again, it was a mistake,” Rice said after getting a chance to cool off. “It’s got to be a mistake. I watched it on YouTube. I’ve had them all throughout the year, impeccable reputation, it’s unfortunate, my heart — believe me, there is going to be blood coming through my tongue right now but it’s what it is, we’re going to control how we respond.

“I was a lunatic, to be honest with you, and I lost some self-control, I admit it, and I thought he got — again, it was a judgment call. Had I known it was [1.7], I might have literally held on, done a Van Gundy and held one of their legs on the court.”

“It has to be a mistake. It’s got to be. I just saw it on YouTube. … It’s unfortunate. Believe me, there’s going to be blood coming through my tongue right now, but it is what it is. We’re going to control how we respond.”

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VIDEO: Rutgers robbed at the Big East Tournament

Watch the video first.

Rutgers just got robbed in the second round of the Big East Tournament. Referees did not call two fouls on St. John’s that could very well have been called, that was followed by the referees ignoring a travelling call and the Red Storms stepping out of bounds with time left on the clock. Top it all off with the referee walked off the court with time left on the clock. How did the referees not review this? What were Jim Burr and Tim Higgins thinking? They have a history of bad officiating. Google both of them.

Much credit to Mike Francesa. He has had an anti-Rutgers bias in the past and is a St.John’s alum but he is taking the Big East to task on WFAN right now.

Shame that the officials have become the story and not first year head coach Mike Rice and his team who have done one hell of a job this season.

Here is the statement from the Big East:

The Big East Conference acknowledged that two separate officiating errors occurred at the conclusion of the St. John’s vs. Rutgers game. Both missed violations should have caused the game clock to stop and a change of possession to occur prior to the end of the game. Neither error is reviewable or correctable under NCAA playing rules. 

That makes no sense. I can understand that they can’t review the travel call but how do you not review to see if there is time left? How do you not notice BOTH of his feet going out of bounds? Absolutely ridiculous. 

The recap on the Big East website makes no mention of what happened at the end of the game.

I have to give credit to Mike Becker of WRSU (Rutgers Radio) who sent ou tthe following tweets before the game,

1) The fix is in! Rutgers gets the RU Screw again. I liked their chances MUCH more til @AdamHache texted me and broke me the Burr and Higgins n

2) How can the #BIGEAST possibly put Burr AND Higgins on the SAME GAME??? This is complete bush league!


This reminded me of the Rutgers/Tennessee “clock game”. 

As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or Follow sahyder1 on Twitter.

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