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Mingione on UK’s NCAA snub: “I’m really hurt”

Photo: UK Athletics

It has been 24 hours since the NCAA released its baseball tournament bracket without Kentucky in it, and Nick Mingione is still upset. UK’s head baseball coach called in to Kentucky Sports Radio this morning to check in after his team’s surprising snub from the postseason, and it’s very clear he is heartbroken over the committee’s decision to leave the Wildcats out.

“I’m hurting today,” Mingione told KSR. “I’m really hurt. I’m disappointed; every emotion and everything you can think of. That was really, really difficult to watch and be a part of.”

Mingione acknowledged the committee has a difficult decision in picking the field each year, but he believed his team’s three series wins against top-15 teams and six series wins over top-50 teams were enough to earn the Cats a bid.

“The one hiccup on our resume is we went 13-17 in the best league in America,” he said, while noting the committee’s points of emphasis are impossible to predict.

“They put the first 29 teams, RPI-wise, in. We were 30th. They skipped us and put the next 13 in after us. That’s a fact.”

So what went wrong that led to the disappointing close to the regular season, which ultimately cost Kentucky a spot in the tournament?

Mingione doesn’t want to make excuses, but he pointed directly toward his injured pitching rotation.

“I don’t want to be deemed as ‘ hey this guy’s making excuses,’ but facts are we had five pitchers out,” he said. “Zack Thompson and Justin Lewis, two of our three weekend starters, missed nine SEC starts. It’s my understanding that if we had two more SEC wins and we were 15-15, we would be in the tournament.

“Those guys missed nine SEC starts and I gotta believe we’d win two of those nine. But unfortunately, we had five guys out at the end of the year. They’re all back healthy, ready for the postseason, but obviously there isn’t one for us.”

Listen to the entire interview:

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

18 Comments for Mingione on UK’s NCAA snub: “I’m really hurt”

  1. SuperTroy18
    12:39 pm May 29, 2018 Permalink

    Hearing him talk about it is heartbreaking. God, I hate the NCAA more and more each year. I understand this was a completely separate committee, but…such an NCAA thing to do.

  2. runningunnin.454
    12:42 pm May 29, 2018 Permalink


  3. notFromhere
    12:52 pm May 29, 2018 Permalink

    It’s Kentucky still being paid back by the NCAA for integrating the SEC. Won’t ever end

    • dismore
      1:02 pm May 29, 2018 Permalink

      I’m not sure if I’ve ever read anything more stupid. ^^

  4. dismore
    1:06 pm May 29, 2018 Permalink

    Unfortunately injuries are part of any game and how deep your program is in talent determines if you win or lose games with injured starters. Yes if they hadn’t been injured we would have gotten in but if we would have had a more talented/experienced bullpen we would have also gotten in. Not to mention we didn’t hit well late in the season to give run support to the guys trying to fill in on the mound.

    • SuperTroy18
      2:07 pm May 29, 2018 Permalink

      Injuries do happen. Our recruits were good, but you’re right in that we weren’t deep enough in pitching. The freshmen starters weren’t ready for SEC talent when Thompson went down.
      We hit plenty well though. Even got us back into games when it looked like we should’ve been dead and buried. Led the SEC in offense for much of the season. Don’t know how much better we could’ve done on offense, especially with the top of the line pitching in the Conference. There’s no excuse, losing to Vandy and UT though like we did. Injuries or not, they weren’t good this year. Can’t lose those series, and especially can’t get swept by ‘Dores last series of the season.

  5. rickwhitetx
    1:08 pm May 29, 2018 Permalink

    Injuries happen. For us, they happened to too many of the wrong people at the wrong time. Yeah, it’s disappointing, but you gotta go on. Maybe evaluate the injuries, see if there’s a reason for them that can be avoided in the future.

  6. UKfansNKY
    1:29 pm May 29, 2018 Permalink

    I feel bad for the the whole Team, they got SCREWED!!!!

  7. Big Blue Daddy 98
    2:33 pm May 29, 2018 Permalink

    I feel bad for the team, but it happens fellas. You can’t get swept by fellow bubble Vandy to end the regular season to fall 4 games under .500 in league play. It was also damning to drop series to the league cellar dwellers like UT and Bama. I think UK should have made it and was bummed when the bubble burst. However, the opportunities were there and Cats failed to capitalize… injuries or not… Just 16-14 in SEC would have had UK in contention for one of the 16 hosts. It was all about conference record.

  8. Halfway 2 BioHazard
    2:33 pm May 29, 2018 Permalink

    Just like Flight of the Conchords, he’s got hurt feelings.

  9. Big Blue Daddy 98
    2:40 pm May 29, 2018 Permalink

    Can you give a roster breakdown for next season in the days ahead? I know we are extremely likely to lose Pompey and Hjelle to draft. I know Lewis, Becker and Heyer are done as well along with a handful of role players from this years team. Cottom has a decision to make as well. The roster turnover could make Uk one of the youngest teams in the SEC next season and make for tough sledding. I’d love a breakdown bc of your coverage being so spot on!

    I’m really excited about the new stadium

    • FakeNewsCATS
      3:18 pm May 29, 2018 Permalink

      My guess:
      -Seniors gone: Becker, Heyer, T-ROY, Schaenzer, Maley
      -Hjelle drafted top 2 rounds and leaves
      -Pompey leaves via draft
      -Lewis top 8 round pick could come back but doubtful (he is a red shirt junior according to the website roster)
      -Machamer leaves in draft
      -Cottam probably a top 5 round draft pick and leaves
      -Collett comes back
      -Dawson possibly comes back to pair with a new Shelby in the middle of the infield!
      -Aklinski possibly comes back but wouldn’t be surprised to see him go (one of my favorite new guys with his hustle!)
      -Ryan Johnson probably goes draft as he lost playing time to Shinn and Zeke.
      -Shinn returns
      -A-Rod returns and plays third where he looked like a gold glove candidate at times
      -Haake has to stay after he got rocked in a position he shouldnt have been put in

      Projected Starters (Trey could fill in with recruits)
      C – Kessler
      1st – Combs?
      2nd – Shelby/Zeke
      SS – Dawson (please)/Zeke
      3rd – A-Rod
      LF – Shinn/Johnson/Cam Hill
      CF – Aklinski
      RF – Shinn/Johnson/Cam Hill
      DH – Collett
      Weekend Starting P – Thompson, Donzanski, Jordan, Harper
      Midweek Starting P – Marozas
      Middle Relief – Ramsey, Marshall, Haake, Hazelwood, Miller
      Closer – Coleman


  10. W.C.
    3:22 pm May 29, 2018 Permalink

    I am sure the eight committee members took a vow of secrecy about how they voted. I think enough of them from other areas and other conferences banded together to keep the eleventh SEC team from getting in, no matter what the facts indicated. I think they searched for a reason and finally thought they had found one they could justify. I believe the the basketball selection committee has excused
    a teams losses when a teams star player was injured, if that player was ready to play in the tourney.That obviously was not done here.

    • jaws2
      3:38 pm May 29, 2018 Permalink

      This team SHOULD have been in the field. W.C., you are correct. We didn’t help ourselves down the stretch, but got ZERO credit for playing in the best conference in America and a top 30 RPI. This is complete BS to not be in.

    • UKPROF
      3:55 pm May 29, 2018 Permalink

      Sorry jaws2 but the majority disagree with you, including the selection committe. UK was ‘IN’ up until those 4 straight losses at the end of the season (3 to Vandy and 1 to Auburn). Not a single team in the tournament has a worse showing their last 4 games. True, they were in the toughest conference in the country, but they did struggle. You just can’t play .500 ball all season and then crash like they did against Vandy to close out your season. Lesson learned, uh guys!!?

  11. stevemotley
    3:56 pm May 29, 2018 Permalink

    Absolute bs we didn’t get in. Ul and IU are 2 seeds, seriously??

  12. Clyde X
    6:39 pm May 29, 2018 Permalink

    So the NC2A took the first twenty-nine teams off the RPI, skipped Kentucky and then took the next thirteen. Is there anyone on in this universe that believes that, if Duke or Carolina had UK’s resume they would have been similarly snubbed?