The Mountain West officiating crew made the correct call Wednesday night when it waved off what appeared to be a game-winning 3-pointer by James Webb III in Boise State's 97-93 double-overtime loss at Colorado State, the lead official maintained in a statement.
The Mountain West Conference also said in a statement Thursday that the correct call was made.
Webb banked the shot at the end of the first overtime after receiving an inbounds pass with 0.8 seconds to play. Officials checked the replay and determined that he had failed to release the ball before time expired, though video of the play appeared to contradict that ruling.
The crew determined that the clock didn't start immediately after Webb touched the ball. They used a stopwatch to determine how much time passed before the ball left Webb's hands -- a span that exceeded the 0.8 seconds on the game clock.
"The protocol on any last-second shot, after the shot is made, you go to the monitor to review whether the shot was taken in time or not," David Hall, the lead official in the game, said in a statement.
"We followed the protocol, we went to the monitor, and we reviewed whether the shot was taken in the 0.8 seconds that was on the game clock when the ball was inbounded. We did that, and we noticed that the game clock was not started upon touch. We then used a stopwatch overlay from the monitor review system to determine when he touched it and then figure out how many tenths of a second it took from the time he touched the ball until the time he released the ball and whether he was able to get that shot off in that 0.8 seconds. After reviewing that several times, we determined that the shot was late. It was not taken in that 0.8-second time frame but actually closer to 1.2 [seconds] or 1.3 [seconds] time frame. As a result, the basket does not count."
In its statement, the Mountain West Conference agreed that protocol was followed correctly.
"The Mountain West Coordinator of Officials, the NCAA National Coordinator of Officials, the NCAA Secretary-Rules Editor and the MW Conference office have reviewed the play extensively and consulted on the administration of the video review," the conference said in its statement. "It has been determined the game officials executed the appropriate protocol and made the correct call."
Via Twitter, Boise State standout Anthony Drmic said Colorado State players told him and his teammates after the game that officials made the wrong call.
Everybody knows I don't let my emotions run much on social media, but when players on the opposing team...— Anthony Drmic (@AnthonyDrmic) February 11, 2016
Boise State coach Leon Rice's frustration wasn't so much with the officials' decision as with the use of video to supersede the game clock.
"It opens a can of worms," Rice said Thursday in a phone interview with The Associated Press. "Why are those milliseconds [at the end] more important than any other time throughout the game?
"Because all my life, I've gone off the clock on the scoreboard -- and [Webb] got it off before that."
Rice was particularly taken aback by Hall's statement that the officiating crew used a stopwatch in its analysis of the video.
"At first, I was like, 'A stopwatch? What?'" Rice said. "A terrible choice of words. You're thinking, 'They went to a stopwatch? What is this -- the 1950s?' That throws you for a loop."
A win would have elevated Boise State (16-9, 7-5 Mountain West) to second place in the conference behind San Diego State. Instead, the loss sent the Broncos to fourth place in the league.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.