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Knoxville News-Sentinel (Tennessee)


CHICAGO - Some Kentucky basketball fans allegedly went beyond posting criticism of an NCAA official on social media.

John Higgins, who officiated Kentucky's loss to North Carolina in the Elite Eight on Sunday, met with police Tuesday after he received death threats, according to an ESPN report.

The threats were made by people repeatedly calling his company's office and home and his company's Facebook page was bombarded with false reviews and messages.

The Wildcats were whistled for 19 fouls against North Carolina, including two each on four starters in the first half. That drew comments from Kentucky coach John Calipari during the post-game press conference and players were asked about it in the locker room.

"It was kind of tick-tacky, I thought, especially on our end," Kentucky senior Derek Willis said, "But, I mean, you see how the game is going to be called like that and you just try to make adjustments or whatever. I don't know. Stuff happens. I definitely had two stupid fouls. I wasn't thinking."

Higgins declined to speak to ESPN but is scheduled to officiate a game in the Final Four this weekend.

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March 30, 2017


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