Big 12 acknowledges 'errors' by refs

Updated: February 27, 2013, 4:30 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The Big 12 Conference has admitted that "officiating errors" were made late in No. 6 Kansas' controversial overtime victory over Iowa State on Monday.

The officials did not call either a block or a charge when Jayhawks guard Elijah Johnson collided with Iowa State's Georges Niang, who appeared to have his feet set, with five seconds remaining in regulation.

Instead, Niang was whistled for a holding foul after Johnson's shot missed and the ball came loose on the floor. Johnson went to the free-throw line and made the two free throws, forcing overtime and helping Kansas rally for a 108-96 victory in Ames.

"The Big 12 Conference acknowledges that officiating errors were made at the end of regulation during last night's Kansas at Iowa State men's basketball game," the conference said in a statement released Tuesday. "The plays have been reviewed and appropriate measures will be taken by the Coordinator of Men's Basketball Officials to adjust the number of future assignments for the two officials involved in conjunction with Conference policies."

Monday's officials were Tom O'Neill, Mark Whitehead and Bert Smith. The Big 12 did not identify the officials or the plays in question.

Curtis Shaw, a former longtime official and now the league's coordinator, told ESPN.com on Monday the Big 12 would approach the teams and "take appropriate action."

When asked what kind of accountability could occur for officials, Shaw said that because officials are independent contractors, the way the conference handles any kind of disciplinary action -- if warranted -- is through future assignments.

Even golfer Zach Johnson, an Iowa native, took notice of the call. Johnson wrote on Twitter: "What a horrible no call in the ISU/KU game. Refs blew this game in regulation. What is up with the officials this year? Terrible!"

ESPN.com's Andy Katz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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