After royally botching up the end of the St. John’s/Rutgers game yesterday, Jim Burr, Tim Higgins and Earl Walton have withdrawn from the Big East Tournament.
In case you were in a cave or something, here’s what happened. With 1.7 seconds left and Rutgers down by two, St. John’s forward Justin Brownlee picked up a loose ball, took three steps without dribbling and also went out of bounds before throwing the ball into the crowd. No violations were called. Realizing their mistake, the officials hurried off the court faster than a certain Big East coach in an Italian restaurant.
When asked about the game-ending sequence by Andy Katz, John Adams, the NCAA’s national coordinator of men’s basketball officiating, called the errors “unacceptable.” In a statement issued this morning, Big East conference commissioner John Marinatto said the officials withdrew “in the best interests of everyone involved — including coaches, student-athletes, game officials and Big East member institutions.”
I don’t blame them. Madison Square Garden brings out the rowdy in people. Just ask that UConn fan that insulted John Wall near me in the ladies’ room back in 2009.