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Kentucky Wilcats Basketball: Outrage In Kentucky

Let me preface this piece by saying that I understand that the selection committee has a hard job, and that any compliant I might have about seeding pales in comparison to the incredulity other teams like the Alabama Crimson Tide, the Virginia Tech Hokies, and the Colorado Buffaloes must be suffering.

Notwithstanding the above, Kentucky Wildcats fans have a perfect right to be OUTRAGED at the #4 seed they received from the committee today, and the biggest reason is because the Florida Gators got a #2 seed.  Why the outrage?  Let me count the ways.

Kentucky had the stronger out of conference schedule, had as many quality wins and fewer bad losses.  Kentucky defeated Florida twice convincingly, and had only one fewer win than the Gators on the entire season, who played an overall weaker schedule and yet managed to get a two seed line advantage over the Wildcats.  This is staggering, and bitterly disappointing to Wildcat fans everywhere.

As I write this, respected former coaches, players, and analysts on ESPN are raking this committee over the coals in no uncertain terms, with Jay Bilas accusing them of incompetence by implication when he suggested that some of the committee members "don't even know a basketball is round."  Of course, most of their outrage is directed at who got in, not who got put where and at what seed line, and justifiably so.  That outrage is far more important than my little bone of contention.

Still, this was clearly one mistake in an incredible array of mistakes that have been made by this committee, and even though we fans always bitch and gripe a bit at committee decisions, this seems to be the most inexplicable and egregiously incompetent NCAA selection committee that has ever been assembled.  They should be ashamed of their work, and those who put the selection committee together should listen to those who actually know something about the game.  Bilas even went so far as to say that this committee "did not do a good job."  One thing you can say about Jay is that hyperbole isn't his strong point.

This was a staggering mess of a selection that will go down in history as one of the most unfortunate and unbalanced job of selecting a tournament in the history of college basketball.  At this point, there is no consistent, athletics-centric justification for what this committee has done.  That is all anyone needs to know about this disaster.

In summary, the Kentucky/Florida debacle may be one of the least of the complaints that could be leveled at the committee, but let me tell you, it matters one heck of a lot to Kentucky fans.  I know Florida fans will be pleased and certainly, they did a great job this year and deserved to be rewarded with a high seed.  But this was too much.  Honest Florida fans will probably admit that, but even if they don't it is a natural fact, and facts are stubborn things.