Big 12 says officials made mistakes at end of KU-Iowa State game

The Big 12 will discipline two officials for making errors at the end of regulation Monday night during No. 6 Kansas’ 108-96 overtime victory at Iowa State.

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, the conference did not identify the errors or the officials involved, but said “the plays have been reviewed and appropriate measures will be taken by the Coordinator of Men’s Basketball Officials to adjust the number of future assignments for the two officials involved in conjunction with conference policies.”

Two of the most controversial calls in the game favored Kansas in the final minute in regulation.

With 23 seconds remaining and Iowa State leading 87-85, KU’s Jeff Withey made contact with Cyclones guard Korie Lucious. The whistle blew, and Withey, with four fouls, believed he had fouled out. But when he walked to the bench, Kansas coach Bill Self motioned Withey back on to the court. Kevin Young, who lunged at Lucious, was charged with the foul.

The final scoring sequence of regulation produced the second and more controversial call.

With KU trailing by two points, Elijah Johnson drove to the basket and collided with Georges Niang. Johnson missed the shot, and no call was made. With the bodies on the floor under the basket, holding was called on Niang by official Bert Smith.

Had no whistle blown and the teams played on, the game would have ended with a Naadir Tharpe three-point miss and an Iowa State victory. Instead, Johnson hit both ends of a one-and-one, the second after an Iowa State timeout, with 4.9 seconds remaining.

The officiating crew was a veteran one. Mark Whitehead worked last year’s NCAA championship game. Tom O’Neill, a 30-year veteran, has worked two title games (1991, 2009) and last year was chosen Naismith men’s college official of the year. Smith is a 19-year officiating veteran.

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