Ref blames NCAA tourney exclusion on Berry incident
RALEIGH, NC - FEBRUARY 03: Referee Ted Valentine. The North Carolina State Wolfpack hosted the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish on February 3, 2018 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC in a Division I men's college basketball game. NC State won the game 76-58.

Ted Valentine won't be officiating in this year's NCAA tournament, and he's pointing fingers at one particular incident as the reason why.

The veteran official is blaming the backlash following an incident with North Carolina's Joel Berry II in which Valentine turned his back on the senior when Berry complained about what he thought was a missed foul call, according to Jeff Goodman of ESPN.

"This is not right, it's just not fair," Valentine said. "It hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm being punished unjustly."

Valentine said he discussed the decision with NCAA coordinator of officials J.D. Collins, and Collins told ESPN on Monday he wouldn't "disclose selections, assignments, or advancements."

The 59-year-old official accepted responsibility for the situation with Berry, and insisted that the two have spoken and have moved past the incident.

"I screwed up," Valentine said. "But I went back a week later and apologized, and he and I were joking and kidding. It was no big deal. I even pulled him out of a situation where he could have gotten a technical foul."

Ref blames NCAA tourney exclusion on Berry incident
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