Shock: Kentucky Will Miss NCAA Tournament

Shock: Kentucky Will Miss NCAA Tournament
  • Opening Intro -

    Perhaps news that the Kentucky Wildcats failed to earn a place in this year's NCAA tournament shouldn't be considered shocking.

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After all, this team is just a shell of its championship self, a squad that is young, inexperienced and one that got bounced by Vanderbilt in the SEC tournament. In the end, its 21-11 record was not good enough to give it a chance to attempt a tournament run. If there is any consolation to be had it is this: the Wildcats are headed to the NIT as the No. 1 seed.

Top Seeds

Louisville, Gonzaga, Indiana and Kansas each pulled down regional No. 1 seedings with the Cardinals winning the overall top seed. Gonzaga, the top-ranked team in the AP poll, edged out Miami for the fourth No. 1 seed despite the Hurricanes winning both the ACC regular season title and the tournament.

The Big East Conference placed eight teams in the tournament, the most amongst all conferences. This will be the last year that the Big East will operate as you see it with the Catholic schools separating from the league to form a new Big East Conference. The Big Ten Conference placed seven teams in the tournament and hopes to get a national champion for the first time since 2000. In 2005 Illinois came close, but it fell in the title game.

Tournament Rounds

The opening round of this year’s tournament begins tonight in Dayton, Ohio. Tonight’s games has North Carolina AT versus Liberty and Middle Tennessee taking on St. Mary’s. On Wed., the opening round concludes with LIU Brooklyn facing James Madison followed by Boise State versus LaSalle.

Beginning on Thursday and running through Sunday, second and third round games will be played at eight locations: Auburn Hills, Mich., Austin, Texas; Dayton, Ohio; Kansas City; Lexington, Kentucky; Philadelphia, Salt Lake City and San Jose, Calif.

The third round winners advance to the Sweet Sixteen with regional contests held in Washington, DC; Indianapolis; Arlington, Texas; and Los Angeles. Winners of Elite Eight advance to the Final Four at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta with games played on April 6 & 8.

Bubble Teams

As usual, several teams are bemoaning their exclusion from the tournament. Even with three more spots opened up beginning in 2011, there are likely 15 to 20 teams that could compete if they qualified. Still, as ESPN’s Joe Lunardi noted omitted bubble teams “with awful nonconference schedules” are correctly kept out of the tournament. Those teams get to play on in the NIT.

See AlsoNCAA Prunes Its Complex Rulebook

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Categories: NCAA Basketball