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Kentucky Wildcats Morning Quickies: First Four Edition

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The "First Four" matchup between Vanderbilt and Wichita St. should be a doozy.

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Welcome, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, to the Tuesday Quickies. Tonight is the beginning of the so-called “First Four,” but which most of us probably think of as the play-in games. Having roundly criticized the selection committee earlier this week, I must now praise the quality of some of the first round games this season, especially Vanderbilt vs. Wichita State for the #11 seed. That game is worthy of an 8-9 matchup, and it happens in the very first game of the tournament, whether or not you think Vandy deserves it’s spot.

Regardless of the competency of the selection committee, this should be a fine game to watch. SB Nation has the entire skinny on the “First Four” here.

Tweet of the Morning

In Pitino’s defense, practically every college basketball coach would do/has done the same thing. The NCAA is a very easy target, and trying to shift the blame to them is effortless, and effective.


Heh. Ouch.

Your Quickies:

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College basketball
  • How college basketball’s top freshmen fared this season. I have to admit, Skal Labissiere’s freshman year has been spectacularly underwhelming in a way I can’t remember from a highly-touted player in years. Chieck Diallo has also been very quiet, but he was held out for a long while by the NCAA.

    Overall, the freshman class this season has been pretty slow out of the blocks.

  • TCU fires Trent Johnson. If they wait a bit, they’ll probably be able to hire Johnny Jones and repeat the cycle of futility.

  • Larry Vaught gives us the list of people on the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament selection committee. Does anybody but me think we need someone besides athletics directors on this committee? I mean, the CFB playoff has a “blue-chip” committee. Why can’t we do something like that with basketball?

  • Seth Davis opines on the NCAA Tournament’s best matchups. I mostly agree with him on these, but this was a classic:

    Clearly, if Indiana and Kentucky meet in the second round, the entire world will stop. Between 1969 and 2012, these two programs met every year except for one. But the series ended abruptly four years ago and there are no signs it will resume. So there is a lot on the line if this game happens. Again, the dynamic will be unusual for Indiana, because senior Yogi Ferrell will arguably be the third-best guard in the game behind Kentucky sophomore Tyler Ulis and freshman Jamal Murray. The Wildcats really came on during the last six weeks of the season, largely because they healed after injuries to two of their forwards, senior Alex Poythress (knee) and junior Derek Willis (foot). Now that both players are healthy and performing well, and freshman center Skal Labissiere has evolved into a legitimate contributor, I think you should go with the hot team. And that includes in the Sweet 16 as well, where I have Kentucky defeating North Carolina. [my emphasis]

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