By LARRY VAUGHT
Almost every year when the NCAA Tournament seedings/pairings are announced it leads to some playful barbs from Kentucky coach John Calipari on how the selection committee mistreated the Wildcats.
This year Kentucky might have an edge with UK athletics director Mitch Barnhart on the selection committee. He can’t be involved in the seeding process for UK but that doesn’t mean he will not have the chance to talk with committee members about the Cats and maybe provide some useful tidbits about the Cats.
So does Calipari truest the process more with Barnhart on the selection committee?
“I don’t expect us to have an easy path one way or another,” Calipari said Friday. “We’re not going to. And I expect some other teams to have an easier path. I just expect so then you’re not upset. They may surprise me. Nah.”
The early NCAA Tournament stop 16 seeding will be revealed today by the tourney selection committee. This is the fourth year for the early seeding announcement five weeks before Selection Sunday. The early selections have been reasonably accurate as 15 of the 16 teams retained their top-four seeding in 2017, 13 of 16 in 2018 and 11 of 16 in 2019.
Calipari is in favor of the early reveal.
“I’m glad they’re doing what they’re doing. It’s not just the top four seeds, is it? So, 16. It just kind of holds you accountable,” Calipari said.
“That’s why I liked it being done. If you’re 13 and you win eight out of nine and you go to 22 (on Selection Sunday), why did that happen? You can’t do that now.
“Or, if you’re 12 and you lose – ‘Well, they lost but that’s different because of where they are in their league and all that.’ You can’t do that now.
“I like it. Put it out. Let us finish the season. Let’s see who does what and go from there.”