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John Calipari calls out NET and it favoring Duke

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When the Cats lose, they tumble. When Duke loses...nothing.

Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

We’re now in Year 2 of the NET, which is used by the Selection Committee to help determine the field of 68 in the NCAA Tournament, as well as where each team is seeded.

While a team’s NET ranking doesn’t necessarily decide where they’re seeded, it was obvious last year that it plays a major part in it.

That’s not necessarily a good thing for the 2019-20 Kentucky Wildcats, who’ve had about as weird of a regular season as there’s been in the John Calipari era.

On the one hand, the Cats have several bad marks on their resume, including home defeats to Evansville and Tennessee, as well as losses to Utah in Las Vegas and at South Carolina (who just lost to Vanderbilt).

On the other hand, the Cats have eight wins vs. Quadrant I opponents after today’s 71-70 comeback win at Florida and are 8-2 in such games, one of the best marks in all of college basketball.

While it remains to be seen where the Cats will be ranked after today, they did suffer a seven-spot drop following Tuesday’s loss to Tennessee, going from 14th to 21st.

We can debate all day if that was a fair drop, but one team who appears to be getting some unfair treatment in the ranking is Duke.

If you recall, the Blue Devils recently had a stretch where they lost three of four games, yet didn’t drop a single spot in the NET, as they remained 6th through those losses, which included a Quadrant II loss to Wake Forest.

Following Kentucky’s win over Florida, head coach John Calipari finally expressed his displeasure with NET and how it seems to be favoring Duke while knocking Kentucky down.

“They’re looking at these numbers, we’d win on the road and our NET score would go higher? Wait, wait, wait,” Calipari exclaimed. “This team (Duke) loses three of four, and your NET score stays the same. How does that work?”

Coming into the day, Duke was somehow still ranked 6th, while Kentucky was 21st.

And for what it’s worth, Duke is 5-3 in Quadrant I games and can’t pick up another win there until the ACC Tournament.

You can debate where Kentucky should be, but there’s no question Duke should be lower than 6th, so Calipari was right to point this out with Selection Sunday a week away.