Dec 28, 2018; Lubbock, TX, USA; Official John Higgins during the game between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Texas Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros at United Supermarkets Arena. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
John Higgins has long been considered one of the best officials in college basketball and during a radio interview on Monday, he gave some insight on officiating in college basketball’s best conference.
Higgins appeared on Omaha 1620 The Zone’s Sharp and Benning program Monday morning to discuss the state of college officiating before he’ll head to Kansas City to work the Big 12 Tournament this weekend.
He knows he’ll have his work cut out for him with this weekend’s games.
“That’s the hardest conference in the country to referee,” Higgins said. “The intensity is unlike no other league. When the ball goes up to the basket, you have like six or eight guys trying to rebound the ball and it’s like a scrum inside and you’re trying to decide what’s legal, what’s not legal, to blow your whistle. It’s really different.”
Anybody who has watched Big 12 basketball this season knows Higgins is 100 percent correct with this assessment. The league has built a reputation as the nation’s most physical and that fact is certainly infuriating to fans at times.
Apparently, the officials are just as in-tune to how tough Big 12 basketball is on a nightly basis.
“It’s funny,” Higgins said. “It’s different than the West Coast and it’s different than the East Coast. It’s definitely different than the Southeast. It’s just really, really, really intense.”