Big Ten Review Finds Play Should Have Been Ruled Dead Before Tanner Holden Game-Winner Against Rutgers

By Griffin Strom on December 9, 2022 at 8:14 pm
Tanner Holden
Joseph Maiorana – USA TODAY Sports

It turns out Tanner Holden's game-winning buzzer-beater shouldn't have counted after all.

Controversy followed the Buckeye guard's go-ahead 3-pointer with no time left on the clock in Thursday's 67-66 Ohio State win over Rutgers, as Holden was standing out of bounds just a split second before stepping back in to catch a pass from Bruce Thornton and nail the shot.

While the play stood on the court and Ohio State won the game, the Big Ten said in a statement Friday that following a review by the conference, the officiating crew should have ruled the play dead when Holden caught the pass. 

“The action of stepping out of bounds and being the first player to touch the ball after returning inbounds constituted a violation of NCAA Rule 9, Section 3, Article 1,” the statement reads in part. “The play should have been stopped, and the ball ruled dead.”

The Big Ten called Thursday's officiating crew “one of the best in the country,” but said they “unfortunately missed the call.”

Given that Rutgers was winning by two points when Holden caught the pass with 1.1 seconds left on the clock, a Buckeye turnover would likely have resulted in a Scarlet Knight win at the Schottenstein Center. The play was not reviewable, however, so Ohio State’s win stands.

"The Big Ten takes officiating very seriously and has addressed the matter with both member institutions and the officiating crew," the statement says. "Additionally, the conference will be providing added education and rule reinforcement to our basketball officials."

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