In the very first official preview by the NCAA Tournament selection committee, the top 4 seeds in each region were announced on Saturday.
Of course, those could change drastically in coming weeks. But in the meantime, CBS Sports has updated it’s projections based on the announcement and the Kentucky Wildcats have now dropped to a 7 seed.
#MarchMadness Top 16 Seeds!— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) February 11, 2018
10. Texas Tech
11. Michigan State
12. North Carolina
14. Ohio State
16. Oklahoma#BracketPreview (as of today) pic.twitter.com/qn967GDjvY
This projection places Kentucky in the South Region, where potential match-ups include Cincinnati (2 seed), Louisville (11 seed), Michigan State (3 seed), Tennessee (4 seed), and Virginia (No. 1 seed overall), not to mention Northern Kentucky as a 15 seed, because the NCAA loves having all of the Kentucky schools in the same region.
Being a 7 seed, there will be no ideal path to the Final Four, especially the way this team has been playing. The Wildcats could see a favorable matchup against No. 2 Cincinnati, but if they make it to the second weekend the list of potential opponents could be brutal.
As for the rankings overall, you can imagine that many are not pleased. North Carolina has lost 7 games, including a home loss to Wofford, and still wound up as high as a 3 seed. Michigan State has looked as good as anybody in the country at times, including a huge win over Purdue on Saturday, but were not even in the top ten overall.
Jay Bilas has been very outspoken about his objection to these rankings, and his Twitter rant on the subject pulled no punches.
A few of the decisions in the bracket preview Top 16 seeds are laughable. I hope this was just to create controversy and discussion. Otherwise, the Committee is wasting its time.— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) February 11, 2018
The Committee’s quadrant system is just more shaky data to organize information for less discerning minds. All of the quad data is based upon RPI. Garbage in, garbage out.— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) February 11, 2018
For example, a road win over Rider is valued the same as a home win over Villanova. Both are Quadrant 1 wins. That makes no sense. Based upon RPI.— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) February 11, 2018
There is just over three weeks before conference tournaments begin, and Kentucky only has six regular season games remaining to right the ship. They could still gain a few seeding positions with a strong finish, but it is obvious based on these recent projections that the Wildcats have an uphill climb in front of them.
What do you think about Kentucky’s seeding and region placement based on these projections?