Going into the SEC Tournament, the popular belief was that if the Kentucky Wildcats beat the Tennessee Volunteers and won the tournament, then they would lock up a No. 1 seed in either the South or Midwest Region of the NCAA Tournament.
However, that doesn’t look to be the case.
In an interview on the CBS Sports Network after the brackets were released, Duke’s athletic director, Kevin White, seemed to suggest that Kentucky was never in consideration for a 1 seed going into the conference tournament week.
White was asked about how close the teams in consideration for the 1 line were, and his response suggests Kentucky wasn’t in the conversation.
“All of those one seeds were just razor thin. I would think that, and I heard Bernard Muir, who is our chair, the AD at Stanford, my colleague, I heard him say that we had like six prospects I think at the beginning of the week for the 1 line. I would actually think the number was more like seven to be honest with you.
“It was clearly the three ACC schools and Gonzaga. In addition was Tennessee, Michigan, Michigan State.”
Duke AD had some interesting comments on who was in contention for 1 seed at beginning of week: pic.twitter.com/ZhlcOvyjyw— Jason Marcum (@marcum89) March 18, 2019
When you look at Kentucky’s resume, it blows my mind to think that they were never considered to be a one seed. Kentucky had more quadrant one wins than UNC and beat them earlier in the year, but Kentucky had no shot at a 1 seed?
I can understand how UNC would be on the 1 line, but putting Michigan over Kentucky doesn’t make any sense. However, it appears that even with an SEC Tournament win, the Cats would’ve remained on the 2 line.
Hopefully, White misspoke and Kentucky was very much still in the running for a 1 seed, especially since Kentucky was actually ahead of Michigan in the final seed rankings.
Then there was the fact that Muir said Michigan State only passed Kentucky today by winning the Big Ten Championship.
Let’s just hope White simply forgot to mention Kentucky in this discussion. If they really weren’t in the running for a 1, that really speaks to how flawed the NCAA’s system is.