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An NCAA referee was pulled from a women’s tournament game between N.C. State and Chattanooga at halftime on Saturday because of a “background conflict,” the organization said.

Tommi Paris was the referee in question. She was replaced in the middle of the game by Angelica Suffren.

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Tommi Paris runs the floor

Official Tommi Paris runs down the court during the first half of a first-round college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament in Raleigh, North Carolina, Saturday, March 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown)

“There was a switch of game officials at halftime of the Chattanooga-N.C. State first-round game because it was learned after the game had started that Umpire 2 Tommi Paris had a background conflict that, if known, would prevent her from working that assigned game,” the NCAA told The Associated Press.

Paris received a master’s degree from Chattanooga, which wasn’t disclosed. The NCAA asks all referees considered for the NCAA Tournament to disclose any affiliations with the schools in the field of 68 to avoid conflicts.

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Tommi Paris watches play

Official Tommi Paris watches as North Carolina State’s Saniya Rivers handles the ball during the first-round in the NCAA Tournament in Raleigh, North Carolina, Saturday, March 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown)

Suffren worked the Green Bay-Tennessee game earlier in the day and was on the court for the second half.

Mocs head coach Shawn Poppie explained how he learned of the switch after the game.

“They literally just… got me in the locker room and said they were making a change,” he said. “I don’t know what happened. I didn’t see anything specific. Maybe the second time in my career that’s happened. But the other one there was an injury, so you knew. But this one, I’m not really sure.”

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N.C. State won the game, 64-45.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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