When the post season began last week, we were sure of one thing–that in a year of parity and the lack of dominance by any one team, expect the unexpected would be a major theme in this season’s NCAA basketball tournament.
So now we have seen 36 games, cut the field from 68 to 32 and this is what we have.
In the South, a No. 5 seed (Kentucky), a No. 9 seed (Kansas State), a No. 11 seed (Loyola-Chicago) and a No. 7 seed (Nevada) will convene in Atlanta. Nevada made it with a remarkable second half comeback against No. 2 Cincinnati.
We all know about the historic nature of UMBC’s No. 16 over No. 1 Virginia’s upset and the collapse of No. 4 Arizona, which was routed by No. 13 Buffalo.
Another surprising aspect of this region was the way the path was cleared for Coach John Calipari’s team (Don’t tell him that), which was looking at No. 1 Virginia, No. 4 Arizona and Cincinnati as major obstacles. All are gone. If the Wildcats do make it to the Final Four in San Antonio, will any team a more comfortable path than wins over a No. 12 seed (Davidson), a No. 13 seed and a No. 9 seed (Kansas State)?
This does not diminish Coach Cal’s team’s wins. Davidson and Buffalo made the Wildcats work. But destiny appears to be working in Coach Cal’s team’s favor. The Wildcats are young and sassy and we have watched them grow up and mature all season, with the aid of an entertaining regular season chronicle called Inside the Madness: Kentucky Basketball put together by our old friend Chip Namias. It’s a behind-the-scenes look at how Coach Cal has nurtured another potential Final Four national program. Whether they make it to San Antonio will be interesting to watch. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.