Kentucky Is No Lock
So Kentucky is going to win this thing? Not so fast. Say the Wildcats end up with a path that includes Cincinnati, Maryland, and then Kansas or Notre Dame just to get to the Final Four. UK obviously is the favorite each time, but that's a little bit of a gauntlet, with differing styles and plenty of talent. Notre Dame obviously is the kind of offensive team that could make things interesting for Kentucky if the Irish make it to the Elite Eight game in Cleveland.
So Kentucky is going to win this thing?
Not so fast. Say the Wildcats end up with a path that includes Cincinnati, Maryland, and then Kansas or Notre Dame just to get to the Final Four. UK obviously is the favorite each time, but that's a little bit of a gauntlet, with differing styles and plenty of talent. Notre Dame obviously is the kind of offensive team that could make things interesting for Kentucky if the Irish make it to the Elite Eight game in Cleveland.
If Kansas was the last No. 2 seed, it makes sense that Notre Dame would be the top No. 3 after winning the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
Let's cut to the chase. Why didn't Temple make it?
We thought Temple was in and had done enough work to deserve it. But when the committee chairman throws words like "eye test" out there in saying why UCLA made it, that's an indicator that Temple didn't measure up in that eye test enough lately to overcome its lack of a good road win. Early on, Temple more than passed any eye test when it beat up on Kansas. But the Owls also played at Tulsa on Feb. 22, a 6 p.m. game on the CBS Sports Network. That game time on a Sunday meant that many or all of the selection committee members may have been watching Temple lay an egg. The Owls didn't pass the eye test in a 55-39 loss.
That didn't knock them out but probably made the committee take a hard look at everything. There were reasons to put the Owls in. The committee obviously preferred the reasons to keep them out, confirming they were No. 69 in a 68-team field. In other words, the absolute worst position possible.
Which league got the worst of Selection Sunday?
The American Athletic Conference, easily. No, it doesn't matter that this league had the defending national champion. That's not in the criteria and shouldn't be. But getting only two teams in, SMU (a No. 6 seed) and Cincinnati (a No. 8 seed) is a complete diss. Temple's going 13-5 in the league (Tulsa was 14-4) didn't mean enough.
It's true the committee doesn't use quotas or even stop to look at how many are in from each league. But I'm with Larry Brown, who questioned this weekend up in Hartford why teams are getting in with less than .500 records in their leagues.
So UCLA's passing the eye test - what does that mean?
Losing, 70-64, to Arizona in the Pac-12 tournament was more impressive than Temple's loss to SMU. We find it astounding, though, that 2-7 on the road in the Pac-12 regular season was enough for the Bruins to get in.
How did Villanova make out?
Hit by injuries, Virginia hasn't been at its best lately, but that obviously is not an easy No. 2 seed for Villanova at all if 'Nova and UVa both make it to the Elite Eight. The Cavaliers play the kind of stifling defense that makes for interesting games. The Cavaliers held 15 opponents under 50 points.
So who will win in Indianapolis?
We'll take Delaware County native Bo Ryan to cut down the nets, first beating Kentucky in the semifinals. The boss outlawed chalk in this prediction, so we're taking Iowa State over Utah in the South, then beating Villanova to get to the all-Midwest final.
You like seniors? Here are some teams with at least a couple of important seniors.
Look at Villanova, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Northern Iowa, San Diego State, Georgia, Butler, Georgetown, Michigan State, Ohio State, Harvard, Manhattan, Wofford, and Lafayette.
Why isn't Murray State in the tournament?
Murray State didn't lose after Nov. 29 before dropping a one-point game to Belmont in the Ohio Valley final. But the Racers lost their opener to Houston at home, and lost games to Xavier and Valparaiso by a combined 62 points. Games in November count.
Whom should Sixers fans root for?
Why not Notre Dame? The Irish have Jerian Grant, Jerami's brother.
How many Kentucky players 6-foot-10 or taller are projected to go in the top 40 of the NBA draft if they come out? According to Draft Express, four: Karl Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein, Trey Lyles, and Dakari Johnson.
How many Kentucky players under 6-10 are projected to go in the top 40? According to Draft Express, none.