I never really paid attention to how this works, but apparently they assign a pool of 10 officials for the 3 games. On Saturday morning the NCAA will assign refs to the semi-finals, and on Monday morning they'll assign the championship crew.
I think it's good news that we've had most of these guys on a Louisville game at least once this year. John Cahill would be a familiar face if he draws the Cards/Shockers game as he's called several Louisville games this year including Memphis, UK, and twice Syracuse. Here's a link to the stats website:
But is it good to have a familiar face? It's a common sentiment that the NCAA tourney would be called closer than the Big East regular season. I mean, how could it not be, right? But we actually see many of the same guys calling the post-season. I'm torn. On one hand, it's good to have a ref who has seen our speed, our tenacity on defense, so it doesn't take him by surprise. But on the other hand, when a game is called a little tighter, while Louisville loses a little bit on the defensive side, the offensive advantage to Russ is almost unfair. He's taking the ball to the rim, and if they're calling fouls tight, he makes the free throws.
My opinion of the post season officiating is pretty favorable. Some games have been called tighter than others, but they call it on both ends and have been pretty consistent. I think if we get a Big East style game against Wichita, the physical nature of our defense will be very hard for the Shockers to handle.