Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the final Tuesday of the 2018 NCAA basketball season. This weekend, the Final Four will play out, and on Monday, a new NCAA Tournament champion will be crowned. It will not be the University of Kentucky Wildcats. Yes, Captain Obvious really is my brother.
So what’s to talk about today? How about the latest debate, not really new but seemingly more pervasive this season, about NCAA Tournament team selection, especially regarding Big 5 conference teams with sub-500 conference records. Consider:
Not fair, because all conferences and all conference schedules are not the same. https://t.co/BO9yOEldO0— Michael DeCourcy (@tsnmike) March 27, 2018
Mike’s right, but the other guy also has a point — after all, generally teams with sub-500 records don’t get into bowls in football. I know the two sports aren’t analogous, but with only 68 spots available, the NCAA has to draw the line somewhere, and is it really fair to exclude that 30-1 mid-major who lost their tournament in favor of, say, a Syracuse who has an 8-10 league record?
My instinct says no. The NCAA claims to be an organization founded around the idea of the student athlete, and nowhere are the athletes more students and less professionals-in-training than in the smaller school ranks. Reflexively, it seems that using a conference sub-500 record to exclude a major conference team seems both fair and in conformity with the NCAA’s stated objectives.
But DeCourcy raises a fair point about level of competition, and casually dismissing that is hard to do. If I were to be making the decision, though, I’d say that getting the little guys in outweighs the draw of having one of the big guys with a poor record in the event. I fear the NCAA is using the “but the competition” argument to invite bigger draws in order to increase revenue. I know that’s cynical, but then again, I was always told to follow the money. That has rarely failed me.
What do you think?
Tweet of the Morning
Yeah, that's just not true. Every guy they finished the season with could come back, plus the three signed recruits, and they'd still have enough scholarships. https://t.co/9xlsJddKz3— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_SEC) March 27, 2018
40 years ago today: Jack Givens cut down the net after @KentuckyMBB won their 5th NCAA title. Givens scored 41 points in the 94-88 win over Duke. #BBN pic.twitter.com/BJI7W0b8FF— KY Photo Archive (@KYPhotoArchive) March 27, 2018
I’ll never forget where I was or what I was doing when this happened. It’s like 9-11, only in a good way.
- Observations on Kentucky’s recruits from the McDonalds All-America game practice.
- The best point guard in 2019, Ashton Hagans, would like to see a UK offer come his way. I’d be surprised if it doesn’t.
- Former Wildcat Charles Matthews gets to the Final Four. Interesting that he’s the only one in his freshman class at Kentucky to make it that far.
- Seems familiar:
UK Signee Immanuel Quickley WINS McDonalds All American 3 Point Shootout Championship— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) March 27, 2018
Well, sort of:
Immanuel Quickley and Cameron Reddish are co-champions of the Powerade Jam Fest three-point shootout.— Ben Roberts (@BenRobertsHL) March 27, 2018
Had to be a Dookie.
- Kevin Knox’s dad says Knox leaving is “not a done deal.” Bull. No offense, dad, but he’s too good to stay.
- Chuck Hayes sighting!
And Chuck Hayes was at McDonald's practice today as a Houston Rockets scout. https://t.co/aKkcjUnkn3— Ben Roberts (@BenRobertsHL) March 27, 2018
- None of UK’s players are ready to go, according to an NBA scout. Well, that’s almost always true, isn’t it?
- This is the second report I’ve seen that says U of L has asked for permission to talk to Kenny Payne. Good for him.
- Where does Kentucky stand with EJ Montgomerey?
Other Kentucky sports
- Bat Cats at work today:
REMINDER, our game with Miami U. is TODAY at 6 pm, not tomorrow as originally scheduled. Going to be a nice day, come on out to the ballpark, #BBN! #WeAreUK pic.twitter.com/c8rT0XZ536— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) March 27, 2018
- UCLA’s Aaron Holiday declares for the NBA draft.
- To nobody’s surprise, Michael Porter Jr. is off to the NBA.
- Vince Tyra has “interim” tag removed from his title and is now the Athletics Director at Louisville. MAJOR improvement over Tommy Turtleneck.
- Everybody loves a March Madness Cinderella… except television.
- Did John Calipari promise Penny Hardaway a series with Memphis? I wouldn’t mind.
- What may have killed Mars’ magnetic field.
- How Popular Science covered Star Trek in 1967. Man, I was 10 years old, and remember everything about Star Trek from back then. It really made an impression.
This is a good article. If you are a fan of Star Trek, it is well worth your time.
- Confluence of two loves: Exhibit uses basketball to teach physics and math.