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Kentucky Wildcats Morning Quickies: Last Tuesday of NCAA Basketball Edition

The end of the 2018 season is nigh, and Kentucky is out of the tourney. What’s a Wildcat fan to do?

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-South Regional-Kansas State vs Kentucky Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

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:

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?

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Fiction, debunked.

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.

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This is a good article. If you are a fan of Star Trek, it is well worth your time.