Referee from NCAA championship game given key to Providence, R.I.
Michael Stephens, a longtime NCAA basketball referee who worked the 2015 national championship game between Wisconsin and Duke earlier this month, received the key to Providence, R.I. Thursday, according to the Associated Press.
Stephens is a Providence native, and works as the city's deputy director of recreation when he's not on the court.
The honorary award to America's 134th most-populous city was bestowed to Stephens for his selection to work the NCAA championship game.
Perhaps the city of Providence ignored his performance during the game, though.
Stephens and his two colleagues, Joe DeRosa and Pat Driscoll, made a controversial out of bounds call despite evidence to the contrary that awarded the ball to Duke, who led by five points with just under two minutes left in the game.
Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza called Stephens a "great ambassador" for the city's recreation department.