College Basketball Officials Will Review All Shots Made at Buzzer During NCAA Tournament

Feb 08, 2019, 09:55 PM EST
  • The NCAA announced on Thursday that officials will review all buzzer beaters during the NCAA Tournament, even if the outcome of the game isn't affected.
  • This comes within days of two high-profile games -- Oklahoma-Iowa State and Villanova-Creighton -- having spreads affected by incorrect calls that weren't reviewed.

It’s a small percentage of games, but it’s something.

NCAA brass told ESPN’s David Purdum on Thursday that officials will review all shots made at the buzzer only in the NCAA Tournament — even if the outcome of the game isn’t affected by that shot — saying it’s in the interest of player statistics and accuracy of the score.

The spreads in both Iowa State-Oklahoma on Monday and Villanova-Creighton on Wednesday were affected by buzzer beaters that shouldn’t have counted because the shooter didn’t get the ball off in time.

Per the NCAA’s rulebook, officials are never required to review buzzer beaters unless it directly affects the outcome of the game. So they’ve carved the NCAA Tournament exception into the rules.

The NCAA has been clear in its intentions to not be involved in gambling and that it’s not good for its athletes and schools — unlike the pro leagues, which are starting to embrace it by signing data deals with sportsbooks and more.

So while Thursday’s announcement didn’t mention gambling, it will have the biggest impact in that realm. Anyone worried about their bets being swung by incorrect calls at the buzzer can breathe a little easier during March Madness.

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