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NCAA Selection Committee to consider Big Ten’s statement on controversial loss for Rutgers



Dec 8, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes guard Tanner Holden (0) celebrates after making the game winning three-point shot as time ran out against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Value City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

While the Rutgers men’s basketball team is firmly on the bubble as the program tries to earn a third straight NCAA Tournament bid, there is some good news in regard to its resume.

As first reported by The Scarlet Faithful, I confirmed per a source on Tuesday that the NCAA Selection Committee will take into account that the Big Ten officially said the winning shot for Ohio State against Rutgers should not have counted. The league issued a statement the day after the Buckeyes made a game winning three. Replays showed that Tanner Holden had stepped out of bounds before the shot and therefore it should not have counted.

“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 Big Ten said in a statement. “The play should have been stopped, and the ball ruled dead.”

What that will actually equate to in regard to a decision by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee on Rutgers’ bid status remains to be seen. It could be potentially counted as a tiebreaker of sorts if it comes down to that. But there is no way of knowing exactly how it will be weighed. The positive is that it is going to be part of the resume included on the team sheet.

If the Scarlet Knights had won the game, it would have counted as a Quad 1 road victory. They’re currently 5-6 in Quad 1 games with three coming on the road.

This doesn’t mean Rutgers can rely on its current resume to earn a bid on Selection Sunday. After losing six of its last eight games, all since starter Mawot Mag has been out injured, the Scarlet Knights are trending the wrong way. Once considered as close to a lock in early February, RU is firmly on shaky ground in early March.

Rutgers will play fellow bubble team Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday, March 9. The game tips at noon ET and will air live on BTN. The prevailing thought among college basketball media circles is that the loser will be out of NCAA Tournament contention.

If the Scarlet Knights can regroup and advance in the Big Ten Tournament, it will certainly be a positive. They’re currently No. 41 in the NET rankings and No. 42 in KenPom. In the latest projections on the Bracket Matrix, Rutgers is included in 80 of 97 brackets updated since Sunday’s loss to Northwestern.

Here are my thoughts on the current state of things for Rutgers and how they could adjust in the rematch against Michigan.

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  1. thevinman

    March 7, 2023 at 3:43 pm

    At this point I am glad to accept any kind of positive news. Too bad the Big Ten didn’t award us the victory so we would have finished at 11-9 in league play. Not sure how that would have affected our ending spot and who we would have played.

  2. pj43

    March 7, 2023 at 9:29 pm

    I thought the Northwestern coach, Chris Collins, summed up the loss of Mag & the impact on Rutgers nicely. I remember Pikiell saying that the team would need a few weeks to readjust. They didn’t. The loss of Mag seems to have not only lingered on this team but has affected the team’s psyche more negatively with each loss, especially PM, who seems emotionally drained. Aaron pointed out that Michigan is not a good matchup and I agree – even more so with the return of of the younger Howard kid. The downside momentum for Rutgers will be hard to stop much less reverse, in my opinion. I’d certainly welcome a complete turnaround on Thursday but the coaching staff will have to perform a miracle to get this team emotionally ready to produce a win. But, given the way this season has caromed all over the place, anything shouldn’t be surprising!

  3. Henry Rutgers

    March 9, 2023 at 12:23 pm

    Had the Big Ten vacated the loss it would have been much more meaningful.

    Had we not fallen apart at the end of the season we would not be in the position of having to rely on “dad” to put in a good word to try to push us over the bubble.

    But according to Pikiell it’s a new season starting today at noon. A fresh start. Winning today should resolve the question. Making a run and winning the Big Ten tournament removes the question entirely.

    My calendar is cleared, moved or cancelled any meetings. I’m looking forward to seeing the new line up and new team that Pikiell puts on the court for the new season at noon.

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