NCAA Basketball

Duke loses to Virginia Tech after lengthy neck-and-neck review leads to controversial no-call

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Duke fell on the road at Virginia Tech 78-75 on Monday night in controversial fashion after a lengthy review of a potential flagrant foul ultimately led to a no-call. The incident came with 13 seconds left in the game after Michael Collins Jr. made a clear basket for the Hokies. As he turned in excitement, Collins appeared to fist pump right into the throat of Duke big man Kyle Filipowski.

Collins’ hit prompted a lengthy review by the officiating staff, who ultimately decided not to call a Flagrant 1 or Flagrant 2 foul. Duke missed its expected go-ahead basket moments later and surrendered another free throw in the eventual 3-point loss.

“Yeah, he elbowed me right in my Adam’s apple,” Filipowski said postgame. “I couldn’t breathe for a minute, but I just needed to throw up and I was good.”

Flagrant 1 violations are, by definition, “excessive in nature or unnecessary or avoidable, uncalled for or not required by the circumstances of the game,” according to the NCAA rulebook. A Flagrant 1, which seems to fit the very definition of the incident since there is no language of intent, would have resulted in two free throws for Duke and possession.

Flagrant 2 violations are “brutal, harsh or cruel or dangerous or punishing.” A Flagrant 2 foul would have sent Duke to the line for two foul shots and awarded it possession. Collins, who hit the basket and later hit the game-sealing free throw, also would have been ejected.

Collins probably didn’t intend to hit Filipowski in celebration, but there doesn’t need to be any intention to call a Flagrant 1. Given the situation, the review and the point differential, the Hokies might have gotten away with one.

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