Arizona Basketball

Tucsonan Chris Rastatter, longtime Pac-12 ref, falls short of making first Final Four

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Tucsonan Chris Rastatter, who works Pac-12 and Mountain West games as a ref, gets an earful from Steve Fisher (Southern Arizona Officials Camp photo)

Tucsonan Chris Rastatter, who works Pac-12 and Mountain West games as a ref, gets an earful from Steve Fisher (Southern Arizona Officials Camp photo)

Similar to Arizona’s basketball team, Tucsonan Chris Rastatter, a 19-year veteran Pac-12 referee, fell just short of making the Final Four.

Rastatter, a Rincon High School graduate, worked in the Elite Eight matchup last weekend between Kentucky and Notre Dame. He has worked 20 NCAA tournament games, including 11 in the last four years but has yet to reach the Final Four.

The NCAA announced earlier this week its 10 game officials for the three games tonight and Monday night in Indianapolis. Pac-12 official Verne Harris is the lone representative of the conference. He will work his eighth Final Four.

Veteran official David Hall was the only other Pac-12 referee in contention for a Final Four spot. He also worked the Kentucky-Notre Dame game last week.

A total of 20 officials who commonly worked Pac-12 games this year were assigned to NCAA tournament games.

To my surprise, all three of the referees who called last week’s Arizona-Wisconsin game were assigned to the Final Four. They are Pat Adams (SEC/Conference USA), Mike Eades (ACC/Big Ten) and Michael Stephens (Big East/ACC).

That crew made a major mistake, in my opinion, in the first half of the game when they called an offensive foul on Stanley Johnson when it appeared he did not make contact with anybody. That was a double-whammy for Johnson.

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On that same play, Johnson’s eye was accidentally scratched by teammate Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. That seemed to take Johnson out of his rhythm after going to the locker room and sitting on the bench for a few minutes.

In the second half, the officials issued a warning to both the Arizona and Wisconsin’s benches. Sean Miller appeared to be irate when a Wisconsin player engaged in extracurricular activity while trying to take the ball away from Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

Finally, who can forget that flop that Frank Kaminsky got away with when Kaleb Tarczewski was called for an offensive foul in the first half?

The NCAA tournament officiating breakdown (the grading is done by NCAA national coordinator of officiating John W. Adams and four regional advisors):

— One hundred referees work the two First Four games in Dayton and the first weekend sites (Round of 64 and 32).

— Seven officials are pre-assigned by the NCAA to stay to officiate the second day of games (Round of 32) after the Round of 64. The six who perform best in their opening-round games officiate in the Round of 32, with the seventh referee on standby.

— After the first weekend of games, 24 officials are assigned to the Elite Eight.

— Ten officials from that pool are then designated for the Final Four. A three-man crew will work each Final Four game, while one official will serve as the standby official for all three contests.

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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He has also written articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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