The ACC acknowledged game officials made a mistake near the end of Wake Forest’s 88-84 win against N.C. State on Tuesday.
Wake Forest forward Devin Thomas should have been called for a flagrant one foul with 40.5 seconds left, ACC head of officials John Clougherty wrote in an email to N.C. State athletics director Debbie Yow on Wednesday.
The News & Observer obtained a copy of Yow’s email Thursday via a Freedom of Information Act request.
Michael Roberts, Jeffrey Anderson and Joe Lindsay were the officials working the game in Winston-Salem.
With 40.5 seconds left and N.C. State’s Ralston Turner at the free-throw line, Thomas drove his left elbow into the chest of N.C. State’s Cody Martin as the two were going for a rebound.
The elbow by Thomas should have been called a flagrant one foul, Clougherty wrote in the email.
Under NCAA rules, a flagrant one foul is “non-excessive” contact, such as a player swinging an elbow, and it results in two free throws and possession of the ball.
“I thought there was a flagrant one foul,” N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said Thursday. “The league office confirmed that it was, but unfortunately it wasn’t called. We just have to move on.”
N.C. State was down 86-77 when the altercation between Thomas and Martin occurred.
During the same sequence, N.C. State’s Caleb Martin rebounded Turner’s miss and was fouled by Wake Forest’s Codi Miller-McIntyre.
Cody Martin and Thomas continued to jostle away from the ball. Thomas, after a second elbow to him, pushed Martin, who in turn grabbed Thomas and threw him to the ground.
Officials reviewed the altercation on the courtside video monitor and Cody Martin and Thomas received flagrant one fouls for their actions. Neither team received free throws for the offsetting fouls.
As a result of the sequence, Caleb Martin took two free throws and made both to cut Wake Forest’s lead to 86-79. Wake Forest got the ensuing possession.
If the flagrant foul had been correctly called, N.C. State would have gotten four free throws plus possession of the ball. The Wolfpack got as close as 87-84 with 11.2 seconds left but never led in the second half.
This is the second time in three seasons that the ACC has acknowledged an officiating error in an N.C. State game.
There was a procedural mistake in N.C. State’s game with Virginia Tech on Feb. 16, 2013 on a late free-throw attempt by Virginia Tech, which helped the Hokies score and tie the game at the end of regulation. N.C. State went on to win the game 90-86.