Virginia Tech Coach Seth Greenberg complained to the Big Ten’s director of officials about a bad call that may have cost his Hokies the game in a three-point loss to Minnesota on Wednesday night. And it turns out he was right.
The Big Ten announced Friday that the crucial back-court violation in Virginia Tech’s 58-55 loss was wrong. The league said in a statement an official “misapplied” a rule and will be disciplined as a result.
With the Hokies trailing by one and less than 10 seconds remaining, freshman Dorian Finney-Smith threw an inbounds pass to guard Robert Brown and the ball bounced off his hands and into the back court. The official, who was not identified by the Big Ten, then called a back-court violation and gave Minnesota possession.
The Gophers’ Julian Welch hit two free throws and when guard Erick Green’s last-ditch three-pointer clanked off the rim, Minnesota had escaped with a narrow victory.
However, Rule 4, Section 4, Article 6 of the NCAA rulebook states that “After the throw-in ends, an inbounds player in the front court, who is not in control of the ball, may cause the ball to go into the back court.”
Greenberg immediately argued the call to the official to no avail.
Green’s final shot came with some pain. Moments earlier, he fell from the elevated floor of Williams Arena, bruising his right (shooting) shoulder against the steps leading up to the court.
“We were kind of laughing about it, and I guess it happened to be me to fall,” Green said Friday.
Green said he expects to play in Sunday’s home game against Kansas State, but he hasn’t shot the ball in practice since suffering the injury. This is another blow for Green, who seems to be on the cusp of a big year if he can get through some pain.
He scored a career-high 25 points against Minnesota, showing off his improved shot with four three-pointers. But he already. missed one game due to an Achilles injury just before the season began. Green leads the team in scoring, averaging 16.5 points per game.