clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NCAA Tournament 2017: ESPN ranking of Sweet 16 teams

Florida, West Virginia, Michigan and Wisconsin are somehow better than Kentucky now.

NCAA Basketball: UCLA at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Despite punching their Sweet 16 ticket, the Cats are still getting no respect from ESPN.

The Cats got virtually no love from the Worldwide Leader heading into the Big Dance, so it’s no surprise to see they’re not high on Kentucky entering the next round. College hoops writer Myron Medcalf re-seeded the teams in the Sweet 16, ad he has the Cats coming in at No. 10, behind the likes of Florida, West Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin and Gonzaga.

That means Kentucky would earn a 3 seed in his reseed.

10. Kentucky Wildcats (Reseed: 3, previous seed: 2)

The Wildcats have three players who will probably secure slots in the first round of the NBA draft this summer (De'Aaron Fox, Bam Adebayo and Malik Monk). So how did they end up in a single-digit affair with Northern Kentucky, eligible for the NCAA tournament for the first time, and locked into a one-point game in the final seconds against double-digit seed Wichita State (yes, the Shockers deserved better from the selection committee) after making just 33 percent of their shots in the first half of the win?

Well, Monk is just 6-for-21 overall and 2-for-11 from the 3-point line through two rocky tourney games. The Wildcats seem more surmountable and less Kentucky-like when he's off. He may shake that funk in Memphis this week. But if he doesn't? Well, Kentucky's ride could end.

Kentucky wasn’t the only team to get surprisingly slighted. UCLA came in at No. 7 and just barely earned a 2 seed.

7. UCLA Bruins (Reseed: 2, previous seed: 3)

Cincinnati and UCLA battled in the last game on Sunday night. That game presented a significant opportunity for both squads to prove a point. Could a defensive guru like coach Mick Cronin prepare his Cincy squad to run with a UCLA squad that has one of the most potent offensive attacks in America? And could UCLA and Lonzo Ball find a rhythm against a Bearcats team that's accustomed to exposing the flaws of its opponents?

The Bruins proved they could in a win against one of the stingiest defenses in America. Ball is still -- with apologies to Frank Mason III -- the best point guard in America. And although it's still fair to question the defensive capabilities of this UCLA squad, its scoring barrages continue to overwhelm respectable opponents. And now, the Bruins will play the same Kentucky team they beat in Lexington in December.

Seeing Michigan and wisconsin ranked ahead of both Kentucky and UCLA seems odd, but regardless, this ranking means nothing heading into the Sweet 16.

Here is the full ranking:

1. Kansas Jayhawks (Reseed: No. 1 overall, previous seed: 1)

2. North Carolina Tar Heels (Reseed: 1, previous seed: 1)

3. Wisconsin Badgers (Reseed: 1, previous seed: 8)

4. Gonzaga Bulldogs (Reseed: 1, previous seed: 1)

5. Michigan Wolverines (Reseed: 2, previous seed: 7)

6. Arizona Wildcats (Reseed: 2, previous seed: 2)

7. UCLA Bruins (Reseed: 2, previous seed: 3)

8. Florida Gators (Reseed: 2, previous seed: 4)

9. West Virginia Mountaineers (Reseed: 3, previous seed: 4)

10. Kentucky Wildcats (Reseed: 3, previous seed: 2)

11. South Carolina Gamecocks (Reseed: 3, previous seed: 7)

12. Oregon Ducks (Reseed: 3, previous seed: 3)

13. Butler Bulldogs (Reseed: 4, previous seed: 4)

14. Xavier Musketeers (Reseed: 4, previous seed: 11)

15. Purdue Boilermakers (Reseed: 4, previous seed: 4)

16. Baylor Bears (Reseed: 4, previous seed: 3)