ACC admits to 'timing error' in final seconds

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The Atlantic Coast Conference admitted Friday that a timing error was made in the closing seconds of No. 10 Duke's 68-66 win over Clemson (No. 17 ESPN/USA Today, No. 19 AP).

Coordinator of basketball officials John Clougherty said the ACC reviewed the game video and discussed the clock controversy with the officials, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and Clemson coach Oliver Purnell.

"The league acknowledges that a timing error was made in not starting the game clock at the correct time," said Clougherty, adding the situation was resolved internally but did not elaborate.

The confusion started shortly after Clemson's Vernon Hamilton
made a layup to pull the Tigers to 66-63 with 5 seconds left.

Josh McRoberts' inbounds pass for Greg Paulus went right to Hamilton just outside the 3-point arc. Hamilton hit a 3 to tie it with 1.8 seconds left, which seemed to have the game headed for overtime.

But officials stopped play to review the time remaining and restored the clock to 4.4 seconds. The clock, which stopped on Hamilton's layup, did not restart on the steal until the ball was almost in the basket -- a pause of more than a second.

McRoberts then inbounded the ball to Jon Scheyer. He pushed the
ball near midcourt and passed to David McClure, who made a layup as time expired to give the Blue Devils the win.

"I am satisfied with their review in this matter," Purnell said Friday. "We now need to put 100 percent of our focus on our game with Virginia on Sunday, and that is what we will do, starting with today's practice."

A Duke spokesman did not immediately return a telephone message Friday seeking comment from Krzyzewski.