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Kentucky opens with Davidson Thursday in Boise; Arizona and Ayton looming

Kentucky won the SEC Tournament but got only a No. 5 seed. (Vicky Graff Photo)


John Calipari was right. Winning the Southeastern Conference Tournament didn’t seem to improve Kentucky’s NCAA Tournament seeding.

The Wildcats were projected as a No. 5 seed before the SEC Tournament started and that’s what they got Sunday despite winning the tourney.

Kentucky is a No. 5 seed in the South Region and will play No. 12 seed Davidson Thursday in Boise. If the Cats win, they would play the winner of No. 4 seed Arizona — and sensational freshman center DeAndre Ayton — and No. 13 seed Buffalo on Saturday.

The Wildcats (24-10) are also paired with (4) Arizona and (13) Buffalo in Boise.


Kentucky was 15th  in the RPI and No. 17  in Ken Pomeroy’s efficiency ratings. Kentucky was 14-10 against Quadrant 1 and 2 teams and had the nation’s fifth-most difficult schedule.

The SEC has eight teams — Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Missouri, Texas A&M and Tennessee — in the tournament field.


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  1. The NCAA has long had a hardon for KY. They could not have stacked the deck any harder against KY if they tried….oh yeah….they did try and succeeded. Its time for the NCAA to be investigated.

    1. Agree Bluebleeder12. The NCAA is a joke, and it is getting worse and worse every year. Also, what a crock not putting Oklahoma State in the NCAA field. I also wonder how many players on the UNC Cheaters are actually academically eligible the legal way? That bunch and Duke always get the easy ride IMO. Go Cats, go win it all.

  2. I might be out of step, but I like UK’s draw. Davidson will be difficult, but the Cats can handle them. Arizona is over rated, and the CAts can win that one too and advance to the Sweet 16. Virginia is the real deal, but I would rather be in their region than Villanova, Purdue, Michigan State, or Duke.

    It will be a long shot, but if the Cats can get past Virginia, I think Cincinnati is ideal for the Elite 8. Cats will beat Cincy given the chance.

    Got to beat the best to be the best, and Virginia is the one in the Cats’ path this time around. Get to the final 4 and anything can happen there, as we have witnessed many times.

    1. I hope you are right Professor. Davidson shoots a ridiculous number of 3s…the Cats will need to run them off the line, but very winnable. Arizona has had ups and downs but Ayton is the real deal. Their guard play can be stellar at times too. I’m not sure the Cats can handle both if both get in a groove. I haven’t seen Virginia play, just know they are the top seed. Cincinnati would be a very winnable game but it will most likely be won by someone else. Regardless, this will be valuable experience for this group. They are basically playing for next year.

      1. Virginia is a great team. They are the top seed for a reason. They play tough defense and get after you on every possession. They rebound with authority too. They can shoot and hit at will unless you lock them down. The problem for UK is the schedule, travel, etc. and potentially having to face a No. 1 seed early if they advance at all in the tournament. UK does not have an easy path forward. That was planned IMO. The UNC Cheaters and the “legend in their own mind” Dukies get it easy again.

    2. Prof…..I am with you there. I don’t think we really got that bad of a draw, but I do feel bad for the fan base that wanted to travel fairly close to home. Vando will be a key, and I certainly hope he is a go although a little nervous if it is his decision only. IMO the keys moving forward will be the production of Knox and PJ. We pretty well know what the other guys can bring, but both Knox and PJ can be more productive offensively than they have been. At the beginning of the year thru the middle it seemed that they both were only dialed in to play a half only. PJ is the worst offender, and he needs to cut down on his dumb fouls and be more assertive going to the rim. Both should be capable of hitting close to 20 every game.

  3. An UNC gets to basically play at home again this year. I saw somewhere that UNC or Duke has played a tournament game in NC for something like 24 out of the last 25 years. That is wrong.
    To take favoritism out of this, the NCAA needs to pick 1-4, then draw from a hat as to which region they go to. Do the same for 5-8, then 9-13, etc. until all teams are placed.
    I noticed also that UK and Tenn are in the same bracket, but you will never see UNC and Duke in the same one.
    By drawing teams for each region, that will remove any favoritism from the NCAA, in which there is more than enough to go around for the ACC.

  4. The NCAA is as corrupt as Louisville. This is all about TV ratings and money now. The idea of an even playing field in this tournament disappeared a long time ago. North Carolina and Duke have always received favorable consideration since KY thumped Duke in Atlanta in 96. The NCAA will never be a non agenda institution anymore. It should be dismantled completely and replaced with a new governing body that is made up of a rotating group of university presidents. A bunch of Hoosiers are running the show now…no wonder it is all F’ed up!

    1. I agree Bb12. Close them down and start over. The presidents have the authority to do that, but never will.

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