No. 25 Ohio State's Game-Winning 3 vs. Rutgers Shouldn't Have Counted, Big Ten Says

Erin WalshDecember 10, 2022

COLUMBUS, OH - DECEMBER 08:  Tanner Holden #0 of the Ohio State Buckeyes is congratulated by his teammates after scoring the game winning basket at the buzzer to defeat the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on December 8, 2022 in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Rutgers 67-66. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

The No. 25 Ohio State Buckeyes defeated the unranked Rutgers Scarlet Knights 67-66 on Thursday night on a three-point buzzer-beater by Tanner Holden.

However, the Big Ten announced Friday that Holden's three-pointer shouldn't have counted, per NCAA.com's Andy Katz.

The Big Ten said in a statement:

"During regulation play, an OSU student-athlete passed the ball to a teammate who had drifted out of bounds and returned to the court to complete the game-winning shot. 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 play should have been stopped, and the ball ruled dead.

"The officiating crew that was on the court is one of the best in the country, but unfortunately missed the call. The Big Ten Conference takes officiating very seriously and has addressed the matter with both member institutions and the officiating crew. Additionally, the conference will be providing added education and rule reinforcement to our basketball officials."

Big Ten Network @BigTenNetwork

A WALK-OFF 3️⃣ FOR <a href="https://twitter.com/OhioStateHoops?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@OhioStateHoops</a> ‼️ <a href="https://t.co/fprzioLyeD">pic.twitter.com/fprzioLyeD</a>

Almost immediately after Holden hit the game-winning shot, Rutgers coaches and players were telling officials that the shot shouldn't count because Holden was out of bounds just before catching the ball.

"I thought it was (out of bounds) because it was right in front of me," Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell said after the game, per NJ.com's Brian Fonseca. "... Again, I'm not sure about the sideline thing. I thought he clearly was, but again, I didn't see anything."

Considering Rutgers was up by two points when Holden caught the ball, a turnover would likely have resulted in a Buckeyes loss at Schottenstein Center.

Instead, Ohio State moved to 7-2 on the season, while Rutgers dropped to 6-3. Though it's early in the season, Rutgers could have used the conference victory.

The Buckeyes have had a solid season thus far, but they have lost each of their two games against ranked opponents, falling to No. 22 San Diego State on Nov. 21 and No. 15 Duke on Nov. 30.

Ohio State is back in action on Saturday against North Carolina, and they have a pretty tough January on tap with matchups against No. 4 Purdue, No. 13 Maryland, No. 17 Illinois and No. 14 Indiana.

The Buckeyes and Scarlet Knights will meet again on Jan. 15, and Rutgers will have revenge on its mind.