59ºF

Clock Controversy: Michigan State basketball avoids upset

Why wasn't final play replayed?

Getty
Getty

The Michigan State Spartans survived a tougher than expected challenge against Florida Gulf Coast Sunday night.

The game was decided on the final play, which ended in what officials called a "timing error."

Trailing by one, 78-77, with 1.6 seconds remaining, Florida Gulf Coast had one final shot at pulling off the upset.

The clock isn't supposed to start until a player touches the ball, but it was started early and the buzzer sounded as soon as the Florida Gulf Coast player caught the inbounds pass. He missed the shot. Game over.

Afterward, official Bob Boroski said there was a timing error. He said using a stopwatch, it was determined the ball was caught and released in 1.3 seconds. According to Boroski, if the shot had gone in, it would have counted and Florida Gulf Coast would have been awarded the victory. Since it missed, the game ended because "by rule the possession cannot be replayed."