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Best college hoops games deserve the top officiating
By ART THIEL
P-I COLUMNIST

At the risk of stirring embers that could re-ignite what's left of the local college basketball forest, there may have been a reason the Washington Huskies were hosed in the loss Friday to Connecticut that ended their run in the NCAA Tournament.

As the Huskies-free Final Four showcase commences Saturday in Indianapolis, it is a worthy time to consider the point.

UW athletic director Todd Turner has come across information that the three-man officiating crew assigned to the game that produced 47 free throws for UConn to 23 for Washington had worked just 10 major-conference games in the regular season.

While that doesn't disqualify the refs from calling a good game, the fact that they called a bad one in the round of 16 prompted Turner to write a letter this week to the NCAA requesting not only that supervisors review carefully the videotape of the game, but consider reviewing the selection process for tournament refs, and perhaps evaluate the evaluators.

"I've been around basketball a long time and know many of the officials," said Turner, who has worked at schools in the Atlantic Coast, Southeastern and Big East conferences. "I know some exceptionally experienced officials who weren't working the game between two top seeds.

"My question is who is doing the (officials) ratings and who's doing the assignments?"

Before we delve into specifics, let me interject a request to fans of Illinois basketball: Stop already. I hear you.

Nothing will change what happened to Washington and Illinois. That doesn't mean what happened to Washington and Illinois, as well as several other close NCAA games that turned on dubious calls, can't change what happens to tourney officiating.

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:clap: Well said, well said :clap:
 
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