The conclusion of the St. Olaf vs. Augsburg men’s basketball game Wednesday became a bit of an internet sensation, with almost everyone who watched the video of the ending coming to the conclusion that a game-winning tip-in by St. Olaf should have counted.
Instead, the basket — which came on a perfectly executed out-of-bounds tip play starting with 0.2 seconds left — was waved off by officials. Instead of securing a 76-75 victory, St. Olaf was a stunned 75-74 loser against Augsburg — with the viral outcry reaching SportsCenter.
On Friday, we got as close to official word as we’ve had regarding the play — and why it was waved off.
And yes, St. Olaf athletic director Ryan Bowles said, the basket should have counted. He said in a statement:
“At the conclusion of Wednesday night’s men’s basketball game, the officials informed us that a tip-in with less than 0.4 seconds left is only permissible if tipped with one hand. Since then, the officials and Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) have recognized the mistake in the application and interpretation of the rule and have apologized for the error.”
The apology might soothe feelings, but it doesn’t change the outcome, Bowles’ statement said.
“We have explored options and there is not an avenue in NCAA basketball to appeal results once a game has concluded. While the result of the game is not what we believe is correct, we also realize that human error is a part of athletics and officiating is a difficult task,” the statement reads. “This situation is an opportunity for our men’s basketball coaches and student-athletes to apply the life lessons taught through sport, perseverance, and to respond by putting this loss behind them and prepare for our next opponent.”
St. Olaf’s next game is Saturday against St. Mary’s.