Kentucky found out the hard way that all referees aren’t created equal when John Higgins blew several calls in the Cats’ game vs. North Carolina in the Elite Eight, but somehow, he’s still considered one of the best in the sport. In the latest installment of the CBS Sports “Candid Coaches” series, more than 100 college basketball coaches were asked who they believe is the best referee in the sport, and SEVEN percent voted for Higgins, who tied for fourth. Oh boy. Although Calipari and Higgins’ dislike for one another is well known, especially after this year’s tournament, one coach (speaking anonymously) said he’s never noticed a bias:
“I think he’s fair. I think he lets the players dictate the game. I think that he’s not influenced by any coach. I don’t think any coach intimidates him. If you see where he’s at every year, you see he’s almost always in the Final Four. Like him, don’t like him, I think he’s the fairest and absolutely the most consistent official.”
Contrast that with this quote from another coach.
“There’s some guys out there, John Higgins — don’t get me started.”
That might actually have been Calipari because I feel the same way.
The top three refs in the game, per the anonymous poll? Roger Ayers, Mike Eades, and Teddy “TV” Valentine. Ayers, who received 20% of the vote, is another “don’t get me started.” Kentucky is 7-9 in games officiated by Ayers in the Calipari Era, and while the thought of him winning this poll is laughable, Higgins finishing fourth after his performance in the North Carolina game is abominable. If you want to get angry all over again, just check out Drew’s breakdown of his terrible performance from March:
Just don’t leave him any death threats.