After reading a recent column on ESPN my mind started to ponder the question asked which was “What if a committee picked the Final Four” in basketball and I started wondering how this might affect Kentucky.
Obviously, as of right now, it is clear who the top teams are: Kentucky, Duke, Arizona and Wisconsin, After the wins against Texas and Kansas we know Kentucky is playing on a whole other level than the other three teams. Dana O’Neil dubbed these teams as:
The Separatists: Kentucky, Duke, Arizona, Wisconsin
Today, based on talent, eye test and just about everything else, this would be the Final Four. (Hey, football: We coined it. We own it). Not exactly a stretch, but this isn’t about predictions. This is about here and now, and these four are clearly the best. They are bigger (somehow Kentucky makes 6-foot-7 Alex Poythress look like a munchkin), stronger, deeper and flat-out better.
Unless you are Jeff Goodman, it is clear we are the top of the top. So there is no doubt we would be the #1 seed in a top four tournament. But what if it was a different year with a more even playing field? Let’s be real. Kentucky would most likely get screwed.
As good as Cal’s teams have been over the years, we have only been the top #1 seed once, in 2012. In Cal’s first year we were the second number one seed, the next year we were the first #4 seed and last year we were the last #8 seed. It seems like every year we have been disappointed with where the selection committee has seeded us, but at least we have always had the chance to prove them wrong. Something that would be impossible to do if there were only four teams allowed in the tournament because Kentucky wouldn’t even get the chance to get in it most years.
Just some thoughts on topic question. I know a four-team tournament won’t happen; the 64-team field is just too fun. However, it’s always fun to discuss the what-if questions.