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One Referee Was Pulled Off Of This Year's Final Four

A referee's outfit for an NCAA Tournament game.

LOUISVILLE, KY - MARCH 19: An NCAA patch is seen on a referee's shirt during the second round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Hampton Pirates at the KFC YUM! Center on March 19, 2015 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

John Higgins won't be officiating in the Final Four this year.

John Higgins, one of the most controversial NCAA men's basketball referees, will not be afforded the opportunity to work this year's Final Four. Why? Well, guess what? That's controversial too.

Higgins was part of a crew that mishandled the end of the Auburn vs. College of Charleston game two weeks ago. Oddly enough though, he was the alternate on the squad - meaning he wasn't really even officiating the game.

Still, NCAA officiating coordinator J.D. Collins told ESPN's Jeff Goodman that it was performance-based.

“If an official errs on a rule, misses a game-deciding play or his miss-call ratio is too high, they are subject to not advancing in the NCAA tournament.”

Here's the mishandled call:

Chuma Okeke, a 69 percent free throw shooter, should have been the one at the line in the closing seconds. Instead, Tigers guard Jared Harper, an 82 percent free throw shooter, was allowed to go to the line and made one of two shots to increase the lead to four points.

Higgins had worked three Final Fours in a row. Saturday, Loyola Chicago will take on Michigan, while Villanova will get Kansas.