By LARRY VAUGHT
By the time the Kentucky-Florida game ends today, the NCAA tourney pairings will almost be ready to be announced. So does that really mean UK could help its seeding even if it wins a late Sunday afternoon game against the nation’s No. 1 team.
But before he answered that, Kentucky coach John Calipari Saturday put in a plug for Tennessee to be in the NCAA field despite its loss to Florida Saturday.
“If there are 15 teams playing better than Tennessee right now, I got to see who they are. I mean Tennessee, they’re not only playing, they’re smashing people. I didn’t watch the game, nor did I watch the tape yet, but I heard the press got them for a few minutes and changed the complexion of the game. There was a technical after a bad call, somebody told me, and that changed the game,” Calipari said. “But let me just say this: Tennessee is that good.”
Okay, now what about UK’s seeding?
“Now, what happens is the seeding is done before our game is played tomorrow. This happened to us three years ago. Three years ago we won this game and our seed did not change, and neither did Florida’s seed. What happened was the teams above us got hammered. The 1‑seed and the 2‑seed in our region now, North Carolina and Ohio State, two Final Four teams, we beat them. So the seeding’s I think important,” Calipari said.
“It’s not like we’re getting screwed. We’re fine. We’re in. But where you put us may hit somebody above us, like, ‘Why are you putting them with us?’ But that’s what makes the committee what they are and makes it hard. They can’t watch the game tomorrow. They can watch it, but it’s not going to have any bearing on what happens.”
He also thinks Georgia should be in the NCAA and Arkansas on the edge.
“I mean, they (Arkansas) beat us twice. For some reason, it doesn’t get the credit it should,” Calipari said. “Georgia won seven out of their last 10 games. You talk about how you play at the end. Seeding don’t matter in where we’re placed. I know Florida is going to be a 1‑seed. Whether they win it or not tomorrow, doesn’t matter, because it will be done. The seeds will be done.
“But where we’re seeded, I mean, who knows? But I know our strength of schedule’s three or four, depending upon where you look. Three or four. Our RPI is anywhere 12, 13, 11, right in that range. I mean, that sound like an 8‑seed to me, but I don’t know.”