The refs were able to knock off the Scarlet Knights one last time this season.
In a frantic final five minutes, Rutgers rallied back from a ten point deficit to take a one point lead with about a minute and a half left. St. John's was able to rush its way back, and take a two point lead on foul shots.
But the key to this controversy was the end game refereeing. Or lack of it.
More after the jump...
Down one, Mike Coburn drove to the hoop and into a St. John's player. No call, despite the fact that the player was cleary making contact with Coburn. No call.
The next play down the line came on a missed free throw. Rutgers went up for the the rebound. A St. John's player came down over-the-back of Jonathan Mitchell to the point where Mitchell fell. The ball hit J Mitch in the head and rolled out of bounds. No call.
And then came the biggest controversy of the game. Down two, with 4.9 seconds left, Robert Lumpkins tried a half court pass to Gilvydas Biruta. Biruta was swarmed by two SJU players who knocked into Biruta and intercepted the ball. As Rice is screaming for a foul call, Justin Brownlee dribbles the ball once, travels, steps out of bounds and throws the ball into the stands. With 2 seconds left, the refs put the whistle away and let time expire.
The announcers for ESPN were screaming.
Mike Rice and the rest of the Rutgers team was screaming.
MIKE "I went to St. John's" FRANCESCA is still screaming. IN RUTGERS FAVOR.
And-if the ball is intentionally thrown into the stands-isn't that a technical?
It's going to take a lot for the team to recover from this. Standing ovation to the three musketeer seniors who carried this team all year. Three cheers for Mike Rice who got this team to play hard all season long.
And boo to the refs, who took a great game and destroyed what could have been a classic ending.
Boo to the refs for took many, many games from Rutgers this season.
I will write more about this--and Rutgers' season--later, but for right now... what a horrific, controversial, typical Rutgers basketball ending.
More to come.