St. Olaf Issues Statement on Flawed Finish
A mistake was made at the conclusion of a recent basketball game in Northfield. The wrong team won. While an apology was issued by the conference involved, the result of the game can't be changed. A statement from St. Olaf Athletic Director Ryan Bowles says, "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."
The incident at St. Olaf College came in the closing moment of their game against Augsburg with a play that went viral, landing on ESPN's Sports Center Twitter account along with many other media outlets. With 0.2 seconds remaining, the Oles had an inbound underneath their offensive basket. Dominic Bledsoe lobbed the ball into the free throw lane and Troy Diggins, Jr tipped it in two-handed into the basket for the apparent victory.
Diggins, Jr sprinted down the court and the student body was ready to storm the floor when the officials waved off the hoop, leaving Augsburg as the winning team 75-74. Many were left puzzled by the ruling.
The official statement for the college begins, "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."
"We have explored options and there in not an avenue in NCAA basketball to appeal results once a game has concluded. While the result in not what we believe is correct, we also realize that human error is a part of athletics and officiating is a difficult task."
St. Olaf is in a close battle for a playoff spot. They beat St. Mary's 74-62 Saturday to strengthen their position in the MIAC standings.
There was another near Sports Center-conclusion however in the women's game Saturday. St. Mary's rallied from a late deficit and had a chance to win the game on a half court buzzer beater. The shot missed and the Oles' women held on for the 73-71 win.