John Beilein, Ed Hightower

Long-time official Ed Hightower to retire after 2013-14 season


It’s been an offseason of transition for some of the officials who have managed to become household names in recent years.

John Cahill and Mike Kitts will both make the move from the court to administrative roles following the 2013-14 season, with Cahill becoming the coordinator of officials for the “new” Big East and Kitts moving into a similar role in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

And last week, long-time official Ed Hightower stated during an appearance on Spartan Nation Radio that the 2013-14 season would be his last as a college referee.

Hightower’s officiated college games for 31 years, working in leagues such as the Big Ten and Big East. The superintendent of schools in Edwardsville, Ill., Hightower has worked 12 Final Fours and was named the Naismith Division I Men’s College Basketball Official of the Year in 1992.

When an official becomes a household name as Hightower has over the years, there’s certainly no shortage of opinions in regards to his work. And his thoughts on the best compliment he can receive seem to reflect that:

This is not a job just for you to go out and make income. It’s a job that you should try and refine your skills, improve upon what you do and make the game better for the players. That’s what this is about. So that both teams have an equal opportunity to win the game. I guess the best compliment that I enjoy reading is, Boy he doesn’t like our team. Then we go to the next school, He doesn’t like our team. When we get all the way through the Big 10, I don’t like any of the teams. It’s all about being fair and not doing any more for one team than the other.

The question now is what kind of reception Hightower will receive when he enters Big Ten (and other conferences) arenas for the final time this coming winter.

h/t SB Nation

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

VIDEO: Monmouth hits a game-winner, Bench Mob member tries to disrobe

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Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.

The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:

No. 17 Arizona erases double-digit deficit to beat UCLA

Arizona coach Sean Miller reacts to a foul call during the first half of Arizona's NCAA college basketball game against UCLA, Friday, Feb 12, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.

UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.

Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.

All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.

The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.