Back to the MLB previews later today, but first some basketball. I only managed to catch a small bit of the Purdue game this weekend, after it was already out of reach, but I was unlucky enough to see the Kentucky game in its entirety. Now that's what I call a piss-poor performance. Anyway, it got me thinking because Purdue went out and did all they could with a solid 23 point drubbing of Big Ten bottom-feeders Northwestern while Kentucky continued their downward spiral towards total mediocrity against Florida. What it got me thinking about is which team really deserves to go to the NCAA tournament more (assuming the selection was made today).
It's generally assumed that UK is in and Purdue is tiptoeing around on the bubble, but the first thing you notice about these teams is identical 20-10 (9-7) records. Yet, still, Kentucky is a "lock" according to everybody who doesn't matter. Okay, so surely Kentucky has some of these "marquee" wins to their credit, right? Well, no. For a week or so now the announcers have loved pointing out that this could be the first season in something like 30 years that Kentucky hasn't beaten a ranked team. Both teams beat Indiana (both at home, UK in December and Purdue in February) and at least that win was in-conference for the Boilers. UK lost twice to Florida, Tennessee and Vandy (!!!) while Purdue had to play OSU twice, at Wisconsin (where they hung tough) and pounded MSU at home. Plus, the SEC is down this year (after Florida) and the Big Ten has an argument for two number one seeds.
Look, I hope both teams get in, but the only thing I can tell here is that the Wildcats are getting preferential treatment based on name only. This sort of thing happens every year, but Purdue is certainly no Drexel or Winthrop. Of course, all of that being said, if MSU 21-10 (8-8) gets in over Purdue with a worse conference record I might be out on a ledge somewhere.
(Thanks to the J&C for this awesome picture of David Teague's senior day afro. And God said "let there be an awesome 'fro." And it was good.)