By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky got the 2014 Final Four when it was a No. 8 seed.
This year’s tournament seems more wide open than ever. I’m not sure I could pick 20 teams and feel confident I would have the NCAA champion on the list.
So how important is seeding this year?
“It’s always important. The history (shows) the higher seeds win more than the lower seeds. It’s just how it is. And very rarely, every 10 years, you’ll have a No. 10 seed or No. 11 seed pop through – every 10 years. And you can say, ‘Well, is this one of those years?’ We won’t know till the stuff starts, but I will tell you that it’s starting to group,” Calipari said.
“The disappointing thing for us is, in our league if you lose a road game, it’s like devastating. It was only a couple of weeks ago we lost at Auburn. And Auburn hasn’t won a whole lot since then, but so? OK, we lost a road game. And we’re fine.
“I just hope like a game like South Carolina played (Tuesday at Missouri), they just played bad. These kids, they’re not machines they’re, not computers. They play bad at times and you lose a game. And it happens in every single league, except our league it becomes like this big issue, which is just disappointing. But I think at the end of the day we’ll get five to six teams in (the NCAA) and then we’ll have teams advance like we always do.”
Calipari said with three weeks left before the SEC Tournament, the regular season has “blown by” for his team with ups and downs.
“But the greatest thing is you see the progress. You see that guys are doing it. And we’re still not where we need to be, but we’re moving in that direction,” he said Wednesday.
He said going into Thursday night’s game with Tennessee that his players are becoming empowered.
“Every year I’m talking about empowering the team and it being about them. They’re getting there. I think you’re seeing each guy flow into a role that suits him, and that’s what this is about,” the UK coach said.