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Mick Cronin says what we’ve all known about the Selection Committee for years


As Kentucky fans, for years we’ve been skeptical of the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee’s motives. More often than not, Kentucky ends up with a draw created to draw the most attention than the path they really deserve. The NCAA can invite as many media members to its mock selections as it wants, but there’s no denying that they want to create as many appealing matchups as possible to sell tickets and get ratings, even if it means screwing teams out of their proper seed. John Calipari has been a longtime critic of the Selection Committee for that, and today, Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin joined him, calling out the NCAA for their hypocrisy.

“I’m a firm believer that in the NCAA Tournament committee, everything is so financially driven that no matter what is said on that Sunday, they’re trying to sell tickets,” Cronin said. “So, you may get moved to seed lines if — and it may not be us — but teams can get moved around from a four to a five or an eight, nine out of that to a seven, ten to sell more tickets. Now, nobody will admit that because it’s all about the student-athlete supposedly. But it’s a business.”

Again, it’s not like Cronin is inventing the wheel here, but it’s still nice to see a major coach have the cajones to come out and say it. Even if it means he probably just screwed his team over.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

21 Comments for Mick Cronin says what we’ve all known about the Selection Committee for years

  1. CatsfaninFL
    1:13 pm March 2, 2017 Permalink

    I don’t know that they full on look to make match-ups, but I do think since the move to make brackets more “regionally” based they ended up doing this by default. When you limit teams to as close to home as possible, there is a real good chance you end up getting a bunch of rivalries.

    For example, I don’t think they look to put UK up against UL or IU on a consistent basis, but when the schools are all over like 3 total hours away and always decent enough to make the tourney, there’s a good chance they’ll end up in the same region come Selection Sunday.

    Is that just convenient for the NCAA or is it more nefarious? I’m not sure, but I’d LIKE to think it’s the former and not the latter.

    • Catsby80
      1:26 pm March 2, 2017 Permalink

      Part of that has to deal with the fact that UK, IU, UofL, and WVU are all in different conferences, which the NCAA tries to avoid conference matchups until at least the second weekend. Couple that with the fact that all 4 of these teams, as you alluded to, are all relatively close to each other and are generally pretty good basketball teams, and there’s a good chance that at least one, if not two, will be in our same region.

      It sucks, but it is what it is.

      I also agree with Cronin, though. There’s no doubt in my mind that the NCAA fudges around with seedings to create tasty matchups that generate more revenue. Let’s be honest. If UK were to play UofL in the sweet 16, would it generate more money than if UK played, say Gonzaga?

  2. 2Dogs
    1:27 pm March 2, 2017 Permalink

    How does one determine a “proper seed” in something that’s subjective? For that matter, is there that much of a difference between a 3/4 seed or an 8/9 seed? If you don’t like it win more games. And come March win 6 games and it won’t matter.

    • ClutchCargo
      1:40 pm March 2, 2017 Permalink

      Exactly. If every team got the “proper” seed, it would be easy to come up with a perfect office pool bracket because the higher seeded team would win every single time. Cronin is a whiny-ass little ginger.

    • Catsby80
      2:01 pm March 2, 2017 Permalink

      I respectfully disagree. There is a huge difference between a 3 & a 4 seed. Would you rather be the 3 seed with Gonzaga as your 2 or would you rather be a 4 with UNC as your 1? Now, is there a difference between an 8/9? No not at all because your fate is the same regardless – you win and you play the 1 seed.

      Think about it like this… Would you have rather been the 3 seed out west last year (the seed that Texas A&M got) and have VCU looming in the second round or would you have rather been the 4 seed that we were with IU looming in the second round.

    • catsarerunnin
      2:04 pm March 2, 2017 Permalink

      He might be a “whiny-ass little ginger” but he’s exactly right. Potential match ups,meaning ratings,meaning revenue,is what drives the decisions by the selection committee. They don’t try too hard to get it right from a seeding perspective. It’s all about must see tv.

    • ukcamel
      2:17 pm March 2, 2017 Permalink

      Yes, the difference is whether you play Kansas or Purdue in your second game. Kansas is much better than Purdue.

    • 2Dogs
      3:34 pm March 2, 2017 Permalink

      My turn to respectfully disagree Catsby. If we weren’t good enough to beat Indiana we had no business thinking about advancing to the next round. If we were worried about the “looming” Hoosiers it was a worse year than I thought.

    • Catsby80
      3:52 pm March 2, 2017 Permalink

      I understand 2Dogs, but my point is simply that if we were seeded appropriately (the 3 seed that A&M got) then we would’ve had an easier path. Instead, the NCAA mis-seeded us so they could get a revenue generating matchup in UK-IU.

      For those of you who think “the hell with it just go win 6 games – who cares who we play” – that is absolutely ludicrous. Why would you rather play 3-4 top 25 teams when Duke or whoever else plays 2 top 25 teams? Why would you want to have a harder road when there are easier roads out there? Would you all seriously complain if you looked up and saw Gonzaga as our 1, Butler as our 3, and Florida State as our 4? No. You wouldn’t. You’d take that bracket everyday of the week and twice on Sunday.

    • 2Dogs
      4:24 pm March 2, 2017 Permalink

      Catsby – I’d be curious to know what Duke fans say each year about their draw. I’m with you that it’s set up like the boss for them most years but I’d like to know their perspective. May have to hop over to one of their message boards after selection Sunday.

  3. UkfanMatt
    1:58 pm March 2, 2017 Permalink

    I hate when fans complain about the seeding. “We are the best team in the nation, we deserve the easiest route so we can be in the national championship” How about this? If we are truly the best team, and deserve the title, we will win 6 games, no matter who we play.

    • Young Gun
      2:18 pm March 2, 2017 Permalink

      The best team doesn’t win the title every year, and they certainly don’t win every game. MTSU doesn’t beat Mich. St. in a best of 5 or 7 series. Mercer/Lehigh-Duke, NDSU-Kansas, etc., are the same. The better team doesn’t always win one game, much less six.

    • J-Dub421
      2:23 pm March 2, 2017 Permalink

      Good seeding/draw are a reward for having played well all season and having a good record. By your logic why seed at all? Just go ahead and put Duke, UNC, U of L, UCLA, Kansas, West Virginia, UK, Villanova, Arizona, Gonzaga, Florida, etc. all into the same quarter of the bracket and let them duke it out.

      Then you can have another region with all the bubble teams and teams with the worst records in it like Monmouth, St. Mary’s, Creighton, Vermont, Princeton, BYU, and Northwestern. It doesn’t matter right? You just have to beat the six teams you play.

  4. 8xchamp
    2:20 pm March 2, 2017 Permalink

    Yeah you should be able to beat 6 teams. But you shouldn’t have to play 4 top 15 teams to get to the final four. As they set it up last year. It’s obvious duke plays 4 home games and still chokes half the time. While we play ratings games against tougher opponents.

  5. serdi
    2:52 pm March 2, 2017 Permalink

    Cronin is 1000% right.

    I don’t care if UK, IU, UL, and West Virginia are all in different leagues, all could be in different regions.

    I don’t care if UK gets put in the same region with Kansas, or in the same region with UNCheat. They could just as easily be put into a region with Oregon or Gonzaga.

    My point is Cronin is right. Its about $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ and TV ratings. Screw the student athlete….pick favorites on who you are going to present a cake walk to to the championship and pick those like UK that you want to line up against murderer’s row talent and psychology to to get to the final four.

    Cronin is right on target and congrats to him for speaking out. I have never been, but I am a UCincinnati and Cronin fan moving forward.

  6. Kevin C
    3:26 pm March 2, 2017 Permalink

    He’s right…and his team is going to be sent out West.

  7. jaws2
    3:34 pm March 2, 2017 Permalink

    Serdi I agree 100% with your thoughts. I always thought Cronin was sort of a prick; until this video.

    He is correct on all counts. If Cal said this no one on here would say he was whining. The tournament only went to 64 with play in for money. People are completely naive to believe this isn’t about money. Sure, the NCAA wants to have a national champion of sorts, but there is no doubt the folks in that ‘selection’ room pair up games to draw fans to the site, and eyes to the screens.

    We’ve had years IMO where we would have been much better off competition wise to be a lower seed. Hell we’ve been a 1 seed and had a shitty draw! I agree, you have to win 6 regardless, but no doubt you can have an easier 6 if not seeded based on drawing fans and eyes. Oh, and I believe firmly the ‘selection’ committee sets us up for failure the best they can every year since FedEx package just happened to appear.

  8. RexRox
    6:19 pm March 2, 2017 Permalink

    Will never be fair until it is totally computerized. And that will never happen.

    • catsarerunnin
      6:53 pm March 2, 2017 Permalink

      Well the Russians would hack the computers and all hell would break loose.

  9. Bluebloodtoo
    11:15 am March 3, 2017 Permalink

    I think it’s interesting that inside of a workplace, there are laws that protect you against retaliation when you are a “whistleblower”. Wonder why Cronin doesn’t have any protection against retaliation in this case….?