NASHVILLE — There’s only one explanation for Texas A&M receiving a higher seed than Kentucky in the NCAA tournament: The selection committee didn’t care about the outcome of Sunday’s SEC title game.
The Wildcats took down the Aggies in overtime, conceivably settling a debate — which team is better? — that has raged since A&M beat Kentucky in overtime last month.
But when John Calipari’s team watched the NCAA selection show on Sunday night, they came away disappointed.
Texas A&M had earned a No. 3 seed, while Kentucky had slid to a No. 4.
“Did we not play a basketball game today?” Calipari said on ESPN. “Why are we playing this tournament on a Sunday? It doesn’t help. It’s like they already picked the thing before we play.”
Calipari made similar remarks earlier in the day.
“If (the seeds) were picked before the tournament, (the committee is) not messing up the board,” Calipari said. “We shouldn’t be playing this tournament on Sunday then, because that’s not fair to this program.”
Still, he made sure to tell ESPN that Kentucky’s rough draw — which potentially lands the Wildcats a matchup with No. 1 seed North Carolina in the Sweet 16 — isn’t so bad.
“I thought they’d try to send us to Anchorage,” Calipari said. “We’ve never had it easy, and I don’t want it easy.”
The Kentucky coach wasn’t about to let his team’s bracket position take away from its hard-fought tournament championship hours earlier.
“They’re not stealing my joy, that little group of 10,” Calipari said, referring to the selection committee. “We just won a championship.”
What’s next: Kentucky travels to Des Moines, Iowa, to play No. 13 seed Stony Brook in the first round of the NCAA tournament Thursday.
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