NCAA officiating head John Adams went on the radio on Tuesday and said the referees in the Duke-Wisconsin national championship game didn’t see the definitive replay angle of the controversial out-of-bounds call that went against Wisconsin with two minutes left.
With Wisconsin down 63-58 with 1:51 left, a loose ball seemed to bounce off the fingertip of Duke forward Justise Winslow. The referees ruled that it went off of Wisconsin on the court, but decided to review it.
CBS showed a few replays where you couldn’t really see the play that well, but then they showed this angle from the opposite side of the play that clearly showed Winslow’s finger bending when it hit the ball:
The CBS commentators, and most viewers at home, watched this and concluded that it went off Duke. But the refs — the only people in the world who needed to see this angle — never saw this replay when they ruled that the ball went off of Wisconsin, Adams says.
On an interview with Tim Brando on SiriusXM, Adams revealed that he almost went down and summoned the refs back to the table to review the play again when he realised that they hadn’t seen the definitive replay.
Here’s what Adams said (via Deadspin):
“We never saw the view that everyone saw at home. And I saw it after they left the monitor. I actually thought about, is it in my perogative 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, and concluded that this is the job for the guys on the floor.”
Here’s the audio:
It’s a stunning admission from Adams. While the call may not have ultimately changed the outcome of the game — Wisconsin was down five at the time — it absolutely helped Duke.
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