The Pac-12 admitted Sunday that the controversial ending to Arizona State’s 69-66 upset of No. 2 on Arizona on Friday was handled incorrectly by the officials, according to ESPN.
The controversy began as ASU’s Jahii Carson hung on the rim after an apparent game-clinching dunk while fans rushed onto the court prematurely with 0.7 seconds left in double overtime, causing about a five-minute delay. Once the game resumed, Arizona’s Nick Johnson just missed a desperation 3-point attempt that would have forced triple overtime.
According to the ESPN report, the Pac-12 acknowledged that a technical foul should have been called on Carson for pulling himself up and then hanging on the rim. The technical would have given the Wildcats two free throws and the ball, although they still would have needed to score on the inbounds play with just 0.7 seconds on the clock.
NCAA rules state that a technical should be assessed in the event of a player "grasping either basket in an excessive, emphatic manner during the officials’ jurisdiction when the player is not, in the judgment of an official, trying to prevent an obvious injury to self or others."
There was also some dispute regarding the ASU bench players and the student section rushing onto the court with time still on the clock, but according to the report, the Pac-12 said officials were correct in not assessing a technical for that, as any resulting delay was minimal since the officials were stopping play anyway to review how much time should have remained after Carson’s dunk. Therefore, the only appropriate technical would have been on Carson.
Carson told reporters after the game that he was hanging on the rim to protect himself due to the rush onto the court, but the onrush appeared to come slightly after he pulled himself up.