When the NCAA Tournament pairings were announced on CBS, the Kentucky Wildcats drew the #8 seed of the Midwest Region.
It isn’t the fact that the region is heavily stacked with the likes of Kentucky, Louisville, Duke, or Michigan. It’s the fact that the Kentucky Wildcats were horribly under-seeded. One could say the same about the Louisville Cardinals, who drew the #4 seed.
It will take two wins for Kentucky and Louisville to play Dream Game 3 in the Sweet 16 up in Indianapolis. Think of the crazy atmosphere that such a game would bring with a win meaning a trip to the Elite 8 and a chance at the Final Four or a loss meaning that one will be going home.
It won’t be easy. The Cats have to survive Kansas State first before they get the opportunity to end Wichita State’s season with the Shocker’s first loss of the year. With Creighton now in the Big East, the Shockers didn’t have to face them this season.
Looking at the Shocker’s schedule, it was overall a weak schedule. The loss of Creighton meant playing in a weaker Missouri Valley Conference during the 2013-14 basketball season. That said, they beat the St. Louis Billikens by a mere five points at the start of December. SLU had a 29-28 edge at halftime.
A few days later, the Tennessee Volunteers had a 29-28 halftime lead before falling 70-61 to Wichita State. The fact is, the Shockers won’t have an easy path to the Final Four. In fact, having the chance to play Kentucky on Sunday means that they will likely be the first #1 seed eliminated of the tournament.
The selection committee seeded Kentucky #8 based on how they performed over the last few months, not the three games this weekend. The Cats, right now, are playing like they should have been higher than a #6 seed. They have to focus on the now and not on the later in order to survive and advance.