Many analysts, sports commentators, so-called experts and everyday fans of March Madness will give their opinions on who will win the Sweet 16 games and advance to the Elite Eight. And most everyone has brackets.
I am going to join in, but I have a twist with mine. Not only am I going to share my (not so expert opinion based on my busted brackets) thoughts on the games but schedule the three officials for the games as they should be.
I wrote an opinion article entitled "March Madness: Whistling 98 for the Dancing 68: Referee Selection" before the tournament started. That article showcased the 98 officials I would have chosen to officiate. Similar to the NCAA, I didn't select which officials would move on past the third round. The reason for that is because no one can accurately evaluate the officials without seeing how they perform in the tournament.
Without going into great detail, the three officials in the Syracuse/UNC-Asheville game need to take responsibility for some missed (and therefore controversial) calls. Two of those officials, Eric Curry and Glenn Tuitt, didn't move on. The crew chief, Ed Corbett, did. Read on to find out if Ed survives.
Officials advance much like teams do. They are evaluated on how well they do in the previous tournament games. From the 36 officials to advance on, the eventual three (plus one alternate) officials working the Championship Game will come from here. So potentially, all 36 officials are still building their resume to get to the big game.
Besides working off my list, I will also evaluate the officials the NCAA selected. There are some issues with how the NCAA schedules the games, which falls in line with how officials work regular season games. That one thing that they are consistent with is that an official can work the same team in two consecutive games. If the NCAA wants to show "fairness" and get away from accusations of officials favoring a team or having it out for a team, they'd discontinue scheduling an official from working the same team in two games consecutively.
That occurrence happened 13 times, one of which two officials worked consecutive games. That instance is Karl Hess and Terry Wymer working the Kansas State/Southern Miss game in Round 2 and then the Kansas State/Syracuse game in Round 3. To some, if they perceive Karl Hess "has it out" for Kansas State, what chance do they think Kansas State has in Round 3?
And conversely, Syracuse fans could also perceive Karl Hess favors Kansas State, so their team has no chance. Those misperceptions could easily be avoided if the NCAA knew or cared how they scheduled officials.