Kentucky, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Duke will play for the national championship at this weekend’s NCAA Final Four in Indianapolis. But look closely for an Alabama presence in the college basketball national championship as well.
Mobile’s Pat Adams, who has been officiating basketball games since the mid-1990s, was informed Tuesday he is one of 10 officials selected to work this year’s Final Four. The group makes up three three-man crews — one crew for each of Saturday’ two national semifinal games, one crew for Monday’s national title game and an alternate. The officials won’t learn of their assignments until Saturday morning and per NCAA rules, they cannot do media interviews until after the tournament has been completed.
This will be the fourth Final Four appearance for Adams, who was an alternate in 2010, called the national title game in New Orleans in 2012 and in 2013 officiated a national semifinal game.
The 44-year-old began officiating basketball games while a student at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., for intramural games. He has been calling college games since the 1996-97 season. He works a full schedule of games each season, calling games in the SEC, Southern States Athletic Conference, Sun Belt Conference, as well as other leagues.
The other officials selected to referee the upcoming Final Four games include Jeff Clark of Cheltenham, Pennsylvania Joe DeRosa of North Canton, Ohio; Pat Driscoll of Syracuse, New York; Mike Eades of Princeton, West Virgina Verne Harris of Denver, Colorado; John Higgins of Omaha, Nebraska; Bryan Kersey of Carrollton, Virginia; Doug Simons of Virginia Beach, Virginia; and Michael Stephens of Providence, Rhode Island.
This is the eighth Final Four appearance for Harris and sixth for Higgins. Adams, Driscoll and Stephens are taking part in their fourth Final Four and this is the third appearance for DeRosa and Simons. It is the second appearance for Eades and the first for Clark and Kersey.
Kentucky and Wisconsin meet in one of Saturday’s semifinal games, with Duke and Michigan State facing off in the other Saturday semifinal. The winners will play for the national championship Monday night. Kentucky enters the Final Four unbeaten in 38 games and is the tournament’s No. 1 overall seed.