The Gophers men’s basketball team survived regulation Wednesday night at Williams Arena with the help of a blown call by the officials.
Replays confirm the mistake.
First, officials ignored, or did not hear, Iowa’s several requests for timeout. The Big Ten Network’s microphones heard them. Then, with 20.3 seconds left and Iowa in possession of the ball with a 77-75 lead, official Chris Beaver whistled a jump ball, giving the ball back to the Gophers.
The only problem, Gophers Jordan Murphy put his hands on the ball and tied up Iowa’s Brady Ellingson while Murphy's left foot was out of bounds. Murphy should have been ruled out and Iowa awarded possession of the ball.
Instead, the Gophers tied the game in the final seconds and went on to win 101-89 in double overtime.
Iowa’s beat writers highlighted the oversight within the first several paragraphs of their stories.
Jeremiah Davis of the Eastern Iowa Gazette wrote, “Instead, no timeout was granted, Gophers forward Jordan Murphy tied up with Ellingson and a jump ball was awarded to Minnesota. The ensuing possession saw Minnesota guard Nate Mason tie the game with a layup and extend the game."
The Quad-City Times staff report read, “Iowa (14-11, 6-6 Big Ten) had the ball with the lead a few seconds earlier and Brady Ellingson appeared to be calling timeout but the officials called a jump ball instead, giving the Gophers the ball with 20 seconds remaining. Replays also showed that Murphy’s left foot was out of bounds when he tied up Ellingson for the jump ball."
Chad Leistikow of the Des Moines Register and Iowa City Press-Citizen wrote, “Official Chris Beaver not only didn’t give the timeout, he also ruled a jump ball — even though replays showed the Gophers’ Jordan Murphy, whose hands were on the ball, standing out of bounds.”
Several other websites covering the Hawkeyes also highlighted the missed calls.
When asked about the attempted timeout, frustrated Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said, “I can’t. Just don’t [ask] it.” Several Iowa players were more outspoken and gladly confirmed they heard the loud requests.
Iowa fans used college basketball message boards and social media to express their disappointment with the call that arguably cost them a victory and snapped a three-game winning streak.
One Iowa fan wrote, “This fills me with an anger I have never felt before.”
Other college basketball fans even weighed in. A Wisconsin fan wrote, “Wait, that’s actually really bad. Sorry, Hawkeyes.”
A Virginia Commonwealth fan wrote, “I can’t believe that our game didn’t have the worst call of the night. This one is truly terrible.” VCU, on Saturday and Wednesday night, allowed go-ahead three-pointers with less than a second play, but managed to win each game with the help of the refs.
The conversation continued on social media:
A cleaner look at that horrible call - plainly called timeout multiple times and Minn defender out of bounds when refs called it jump ball pic.twitter.com/LGsJk7xwll— Heavens! (@HeavensHawkeye) February 9, 2017
Iowa lost over one of the worst jump-ball calls I've ever seen. Game was over in regulation.— Brock (@B_Raw14) February 9, 2017
This game would be over if your refs weren't terrible @bigten clear as day Iowa called time out at the end of regulation not a jump ball— PILCHER MANIA (@ZachPilcher) February 9, 2017
@bigten watching Iowa players asking for TO and not granted and the MN stepping out of bounds for the jump ball, pathetic refs!!!— Brad (@bcady64) February 9, 2017
Brutal officiating on that jump ball at the end of Iowa-Minnesota. Blown call. Fran McCaffery had every right to be furious.— Brendan F. Quinn (@BFQuinn) February 9, 2017
OT at The Barn.
Could hear Iowa calling for a TO. And Minnesota's guy was standing out of bounds. Shouldn't be a jump ball.— Hillary Lost (@riley_maschino) February 9, 2017
Fran and his entire staff were on court after that horrendous jump ball call asking for a review. Under 30 secs in game. Refs did nothing.— Mille® (@IowaHawkGuy) February 9, 2017
The evidence is clear. Murphy was out of bounds and the timeout requests were loud enough to be picked up on TV. Iowa fans should be frustrated, even more so because the Hawkeyes missed a potential game-winning shot as time expired in regulation.