The Pac-12 has ruled that game officials and clock operators properly managed the clock in Washington's loss to Oregon State on Wednesday night after Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar protested the controversial ending.
Romar contacted the Pac-12 to protest the game-winning shot Oregon State's Stephen Thompson Jr. made in his team's 82-81 win over Washington on Wednesday night because the video replay appears to show the clock didn't start on time.
Thompson also appeared to travel before he hit the shot that left his hands with a few tenths of a second remaining on the game clock.
"While an institution may ask the Conference Office to review plays, there is no protest policy," the Pac-12 said in a statement released Thursday. "Washington has inquired with the Conference Office regarding play in the final moments of its game with Oregon State.
"In reviewing the final sequence of play in the Oregon State-Washington game, it was determined that the clock timing was handled appropriately by the game officials and the clock operator. While it was questioned whether the Oregon State player should have been called for traveling prior to the final shot, traveling is a judgement call. Traveling is a non-reviewable judgement call."
Romar said he's read the league's statement and he's "somewhat speechless."
"It's a shame that we have this much technology and spend so much time during the game reviewing everything but yet still walk away sometimes without being totally sure about certain calls with so much on the line," he said.
Washington had a 79-73 lead with 64 seconds to play in a game that could affect the at-large hopes of both programs. But Oregon State closed the gap in the final seconds. With 3.3 seconds to play and his team down 81-79, Thompson dribbled the length of the floor and hit a 3-pointer that beat the buzzer. The video replay appears to show that the clock started after Thompson had already dribbled a few times and approached midcourt.
"I don't know if it was a full second," Romar said.
Romar said he won't say much about the potential traveling violation.
"I'll get fined," he said. But Washington's coach suggested that he believes Thompson should have been called for traveling too.
The Mountain West dealt with a similar issue earlier this month when Boise State forward James Webb III's game-winning shot at Colorado State was waved off after officials reviewed the play. League officials initially backed the officiating crew but then announced Webb's shot should have counted due to an equipment issue that affected the "rate at which the embedded digital stopwatch advanced and the rate at which the game clock regressed during the instant replay review.'' Boise State coach Leon Rice demanded a reversal of the outcome, but Mountain West officials stated NCAA rules would not allow it.
Both Washington and Oregon need to enhance their respective résumés to claim a spot in the NCAA tournament.
"When you have a team that fights and scraps like that," Romar said, "for the emotions to change that quickly, you're down for a while."