7:00 PM ET, January 25, 2007
Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, North Carolina
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- David McClure has earned his minutes by grabbing rebounds, getting steals and bringing energy off the bench while his Duke teammates grab most of the headlines.
ESPN Classic will air Clemson vs. Duke on Sunday at 9 a.m. ET as the ESPN College Basketball Game of the Week.|
When Clemson's Vernon Hamilton scored on a layup to make it 66-63, the clock stopped with 5.0 seconds left. On the ensuing play, when Josh McRoberts' errant inbounds pass went directly to Hamilton, the clock did not start when Hamilton touched the ball. In fact, it did not start until the ball was all the way to the cylinder on the 3-pointer that tied the game at 66. Once the clock did start as the ball was going through the cylinder, it then ran all the way down to 1.8 seconds.
Given that the clock didn't start on time, it was difficult for the referees to determine exactly how much time elapsed from when Hamilton first touched the ball to when his 3 went through the hoop. Common sense dictates, though, that it took more than 0.6 seconds for Hamilton to catch, set and release a shot and to have that shot carry 20 feet to the basket. SportsCenter put a real-time clock on the sequence and determined that 2.6 seconds had elapsed, which would have left Duke with 2.4 seconds for its final possession.
It is important to note that this timing error did not decide the game in Duke's favor. Both teams played the final possession as it was presented to them and Duke scored a legal basket to win. The timing error did, however, impact the final situation itself. With 2.4 seconds left, Duke would not have had the time to run the exact same play against the same defense and complete it.
Now, I have seen many teams score in a full-court situation with approximately 2.4 seconds left and win. In fact, I was an assistant coach on the bench in 1992 when Duke scored from a similar situation with about the same amount of time remaining to survive against Kentucky in overtime in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. I have also seen many teams fail to score in a full-court situation with much more time remaining.
Whether a different inbounds play would have worked Thursday night or whether Duke or Clemson would have gone on to win in overtime, we'll never know. What we do know is the officials made an error in getting the final game situation right. In my experience, no one regrets that more than do the officials, who want only to get it right ... every time.
-- Jay Bilas
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||25-55 (.455)||24-58 (.414)|
|3P Made-Attempted||6-18 (.333)||5-16 (.313)|
|FT Made-Attempted||10-11 (.909)||15-18 (.833)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||15 (0/0)||10 (0/0)|