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The St. John’s win over Rutgers ended in one big mess

Forget that St. John’s is headed to the Big East quarterfinals for the first time since 2003. Let’s focus on how the Red Storm closed out their 65-63 win over Rutgers.

You know, this debacle?

Rutgers, down by two, was in-bounding the ball from underneath its own basket with 4.7 seconds remaining. A pass to Gil Biruta at half court was knocked away – was Biruta fouled? – and St. John’s forward Justin Brownlee grabbed the ball with 2.3 seconds remaining.

He took three steps without dribbling, stepped out of bounds, then threw the ball into the crowd.

No call.

Brownlee hit the out-of-bounds line with at least 1.7 seconds remaining. But the refs missed it, missed the travel and ended the game. Afterward, Rutgers coach Mike Rice didn’t criticize the refs, who apparently couldn’t review the play unless they would’ve called traveling or out of bounds and the clock kept running, according to a story by Andy Katz.

“You can’t review on the monitor and then see a violation while watching the replay,” John Adams, the NCAA’s head of officiating told Katz. “If they had made a call then the proper protocol would have been to go to the monitor to check the time. Not starting or stopping the clock is reviewable at the end of a game [or half]. Clearly if you call a violation then that’s a reason to go to the monitor. But it’s all predicated on seeing and recognizing a violation.”

Here’s what St. John’s coach Steve Lavin said about it.

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The Big East issued this statement: “The conference acknowledges that two separate officiating errors occurred at the conclusion of the SJU vs. Rutgers game.”

Regardless, it’s a mess of a finish. Check back a little later for the complete recap by Rob Dauster, who was at the game.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.