Last year’s basketball season was an emotional roller coster. Think about it. Around this very time the Cats were heading to Atlanta to compete in the SEC tournament, hoping to improve their seeding in the NCAAs. Upon arrival Kentucky quickly dismissed early opponents Ole Miss and Alabama, setting up a third game of the season against Florida, the regular season SEC champs. The season series was split until this point, with each team winning a game by a slim margin. This was a statement game for the Wildcats. Kentucky needed to prove they belonged on the same court as some of the elite teams in the nation, and behind an outstanding performance by tournament MVP Darius Miller, they did just that. Kentucky thrashed the Gators 70-54 in the final and Kentucky fans around the country believed that the team had done what they came to Atlanta do, make their road to a national title a little easier. UK was playing as well as any team in the country at that point, and had beaten the “best” team in their conference twice in two weeks. What else did they need to do to get a decent seed?
A lot, according to the NCAA selection committee. After the elation of reaching the top of the SEC mountain on Sunday afternoon, Sunday evening was very a completely different story for Big Blue Nation:
Kentucky was placed in the toughest bracket imaginable. To make it out alive they would have to take out the number one overall seed and a pretty deep team in UNC. For a team that was ranked #11 in the AP poll heading into the NCAA tournament a four seed in the toughest bracket is completely unfair. Kentucky received the mid-major, not-a-respectable-league-you-just-won treatment. The ultimate slap in the face came when Florida, the team Kentucky had just destroyed a couple of hours prior, was sitting pretty with a two seed. Thankfully, the Cats made it through the bracket and reached the final four. Do we need to expect this treatment this year?
With the Cats playing as well as they are there might not be anything the committee can do to slow them down. Kentucky is playing the best basketball in the country, and has to be the overall number one seed heading into the field of 68. Shouldn’t the number one overall seed have the easiest road to the final four? We’ll see on Sunday what the selection committee has in store. Giving them a tough road this time around would just be unacceptable. Don’t try and screw us, NCAA.
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Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
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