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Notable College Basketball Referees Weigh In On No-Call Punch

MJ Collins of Virginia Tech shoots over Duke's Kyle Filipowski.

BLACKSBURG, VA - JANUARY 23: Guard MJ Collins #2 of the Virginia Tech Hokies shoots over center Kyle Filipowski #30 of the Duke Blue Devils in the second half during a game at Cassell Coliseum on January 23, 2023 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Photo by Ryan Hunt/Getty Images)

Earlier: Many people think Duke always gets the calls in their favor, but the refs did not give the Blue Devils any help in the final minute of tonight's loss at Virginia Tech.

Hokies freshman MJ Collins hit what amounted to the game-winning shot with 13 seconds remaining, and then accidentally punched Duke's Kyle Filipowski in the throat as he celebrated the bucket. 

The refs ruled that since Collins didn't intend to strike Filipowski, it wasn't worth whistling him for a flagrant foul. Duke wound up losing 78-75 as Virginia Tech snapped a seven-game losing streak.

Duke fans thought their team got screwed, and some analysts agreed. 

However, Stadium insider Jeff Goodman says he polled "two of the best referees in the business," and both said the crew calling the game made the right decision. 

"I would say play on. He had no idea knowing anyone was there. No call," one reportedly told Goodman, with the other ref agreeing that it was a "no call."

Duke fans are probably not interested in these quotes, but in reality, it doesn't matter what they or even the anonymous refs think.

The officials in Blacksburg had the only opinion that mattered. 

Update: For what it's worth, Seth Davis says he has spoken with multiple refs and they have provided a wide range of answers for what should have been called.

"I have been texting with refs (including three who have worked the final four) and other officiating experts on the Filipowski punch. Answers range from incidental contact to a flagrant 2," Davis tweeted. "I’ve never quite seen this play happen before. The rule book needs more clarity."

Have a feeling this play will be talked about for a little while longer.