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Big Ten: Ohio State’s buzzer-beating 3 shouldn’t have counted

In a statement released Friday night, the Big Ten Conference said a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by No. 25 Ohio State’s Tanner Holden should not have counted Thursday night in Columbus due to a call missed by the officiating crew.

The Buckeyes stunned Rutgers 67-66 on the last-second play. Bruce Thornton passed ahead to Holden with the game clock ticking down, and Holden heaved up a 3-pointer just before the end of the game.

Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell noted after the game that he wanted the referees to review the play because he believed Holden had stepped out of bounds before coming back in to catch the pass.

The play would not have been reviewable on the floor but video replay of the sequence confirmed Holden was out of bounds on his own volition, making him ineligible to be the first person to touch the ball.

“During regulation play, an OSU student-athlete passed the ball to a teammate who had drifted out of bounds and returned to the court to complete the game-winning shot,” the Big Ten’s statement said. “The action of stepping out of bounds and being the first player to touch the ball after returning inbounds constituted a violation of NCAA Rule 9, Section 3, Article 1. The play should have been stopped, and the ball ruled dead.

“The officiating crew that was on the court is one of the best in (the) country, but unfortunately missed the call. The Big Ten Conference takes officiating very seriously and has addressed the matter with both member institutions and the officiating crew. Additionally, the conference will be providing added education and rule reinforcement to our basketball officials.”

Ohio State improved to 7-2 with the win in its Big Ten opener. Rutgers (6-3, 1-1) had beaten No. 10 Indiana in Piscataway, N.J., before the trip to Ohio.

–Field Level Media

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