With UK Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart heading the NCAA selection committee, Louisville Cardinals fans are calling foul for their Cardinals being kept out of the dance.
However, Barnhart explained the reason for Louisville not being invited to make a short trip west to Indiana had nothing to do with him being the head of Wildcat athletics; rather, the “remarkable” conference tournament runs of Georgetown and Oregon State.
Georgetown and Oregon State played the role of bid thieves as after mediocre regular seasons; they went on to win the Big East and PAC 12 tournaments, respectively.
After Patrick Ewing’s Hoyas’ won their Big East title game Saturday afternoon, all Louisville needed was an Oregon State loss to a Colorado team already a lock to earn an at-large bid, but the Beavers upset the Buffaloes in a game Barnhart said sealed Louisville’s fate.
“What we noticed was–they were on our under consideration board deep into the conversation, and the discussions that we had,” Barnhart said. “The challenge was you had two teams that made really remarkable tournament runs in Georgetown and Oregon State, and so they were not on the under consideration board, and as they took those spots, some people had to fall off.”
Instead, Louisville will have to wait and see if any team has to pull out of the tournament due to COVID-19 issues as they’re first-in-line to replace a team that potentially cannot play.
The teams to watch right now for Cardinals fans are fourth-seeded Virginia, who pulled out of the ACC Tournament due to a positive test and are scheduled to play 13th-seeded Ohio in Saturday’s East Region matchup and third-seeded Kansas, who pulled out of the Big 12 Tournament due to a player testing positive and is scheduled to play 14th-seeded Eastern Washington in the East Region Round of 64 Saturday.