With the points of emphasis that have changed the way in which teams play defense receiving so much attention throughout the season, game officials have received far more attention in 2013-14 than in years past. Monday night’s national title game between No. 7 UConn and No. 8 Kentucky will be no exception, with the three officials given the task of working the game likely to receive an ample amount of attention throughout the game.
The three officials calling the game are Doug Shows, Joe DeRosa and Verne Harris, with Mike Roberts acting as the standby. The news was first reported by Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com Saturday evening, with an NCAA spokesperson confirming the assignments to NBC Sports on Sunday.
So how familiar are the three officials with the teams participating in the final game of the season? Here’s a quick look.
While Shows hasn’t worked a game involving UConn this season he’s a familiar face to Kentucky, having officiated six games involving the Wildcats per statsheet.com. In those six games (Kentucky’s lone defeat game at the hands of Florida in the SEC tournament final) there’s been an average of 41 fouls called per contest, with 47 being called in the Wildcats’ win over LSU in the SEC quarterfinals.
Shows has worked three games in this NCAA tournament, with the most recent being Florida’s win over Dayton in the South regional final. The crews working those three contests called an average of 35.3 fouls per game.
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DeRosa has worked games involving both teams this season: three involving UConn due to his work with the American Athletic Conference, and two games involving Kentucky. In those three UConn games, with the most recent being the Huskies’ regular season-ending loss at Louisville, an average of 38.7 fouls were called per game. As for his experience with Kentucky, DeRosa saw the Wildcats early (vs. Baylor in December) and late (vs. Louisville in the Sweet 16). An average of 38.5 fouls per game were called in those contests.
As for his assignments in this year’s NCAA tournament, DeRosa has three other games in addition to the aforementioned Kentucky/Louisville thriller. The average number of fouls called in the four games: 34, with just 25 fouls being called in Pittsburgh’s 77-48 pasting of Colorado in the Round of 64.
Harris has seen little of these teams, which should come as no surprise when taking into consideration the fact that he primarily officiates Mountain West and Pac-12 games. His lone experience with either team came in the Sweet 16, as he was on the crew that worked UConn’s win over Iowa State with there being 32 fouls called.
Like DeRosa, Harris has worked four NCAA tournament games thus far, with an average of 36 fouls called per game. The high for a crew including Harris in this tournament was 42 fouls called, with that occurring in Tennessee’s First Four win over Iowa.
Officiating stats per statsheet.com.