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Mountain West officials waved off James Webb’s would-be buzzer-beater because their replay technology counted time at double speed, a video released today by the conference reveals.


Boise State lost the game in double overtime, after it appeared to have won it with Webb’s shot at the end of the first OT. Officials stated they believed Webb to have held the ball for 1.3 seconds, when only 0.8 remained on the clock for the inbounds play. We timed it ourselves by counting the frames on the broadcast feed, and came up with .57 seconds; by viewing the conference replay system feed, we see exactly why referees came up with 1.3: because the computer told them so.

In the above video, you see Webb touching the ball for 39 frames. That would be 1.3 seconds, if the broadcast were being produced at 30 frames per second—but the broadcast was being produced at 60, not 30 frames per second. That mismatch is what we believe led to the replay system’s on-screen “stopwatch” counting time at double-speed. If you’re still skeptical, watch the clock on the backboard next to the on-screen stopwatch: the stopwatch counts 0.6 seconds in the same time reality experienced just 0.3 seconds of elapsed time:

The facts are evident: officials used a faulty clock to count how long Webb held the ball, stripped him of a game-winning buzzer-beater as a result, and Webb’s team lost the game as a subsequent result.


To contact the author of this post, write to (PGP key) or find him on Twitter @bubbaprog.

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