Was there time, or was there no time? That is what everyone in Hinkle Fieldhouse was pondering after witnessing one of the wackier finishes in college basketball, this side of my lifetime.
After an accidental start/stop button push with 14.7 seconds on the clock, Gordon Haywood hit a lay-up to give Butler the lead. 1.2 seconds remained and Hinkle erupted, but questions abounded. As the officials deliberated and shot perplexed looks at each other for nearly 15 minutes, roars grew as to just what exactly was going on. Would there have been enough time for Haywood's lay-in to count had the clock never stopped? Should Xavier be given any of the 1.2 remaining on the clock to play for the win? And hold on here, was Haywood's "jump ball" call really legit? This game was full of surprises.
As expected, Xavier fans are ticked and Butler fans are elated. The problem here is that there is still speculation. We never were told exactly how many ticks the refs determined would have run off if the clock wasn't inadvertently stopped. It looks like it was no more than 1.2 seconds meaning that Haywood's shot, which was released at about the 1.8 second mark, would have counted. But leaving few privy to the exact amount is infuriating.
There's no clear article in the NCAA rulebook set aside for a situation like this. The refs seemed to have made the right call, but at this time we don't know for sure.