Busting Brackets

NCAA official replaced at halftime when NC State only led Chattanooga by single digits

Mar 21, 2024; Spokane, WA, USA; Wilson official  Evo NXT basketballs with March Madness logos.
Mar 21, 2024; Spokane, WA, USA; Wilson official Evo NXT basketballs with March Madness logos. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 3-seeded NC State Wolfpack crushed the No. 14-seeded Chattanooga Mocs in a 64-45 first-round blowout in the NCAA Tournament.

Since the teams have returned to their locker rooms and fans have returned to their hotels, it has been released that one of the officials was removed after the first half due to a "background conflict."

Official Tommi Paris was switched out at half when the Wolfpack led by just 9 points, a surprisingly close game.

"There was a switch of game officials at halftime of the Chattanooga-NC State first-round game because it was learned after the game had started that Umpire 2 Tommi Paris had a background conflict that, if known, would prevent her from working that assigned game," the statement said.

On LinkedIn, Paris' bio shows that she has been an NCAA official for a decade. It also shows that she received her Master of Arts degree from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, where she grew up.

The statement continues to say, "The decision was made to move Angelica Suffren, who had worked the first game of the session, into the Umpire 2 position because it provided the most on-court experience and allowed the game to maintain a full officiating crew, plus standby."

Suffren later assessed a technical foul on Chattanooga's head coach Shawn Poppie when the Mocs already trailed by 22 points. Suffren had officiated the game prior to the NC State-Chattanooga matchup, between Green Bay and Tennessee.

NC State outscored Chattanooga by 10 points in the second half, after Paris had been switched out for Suffren.

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