First things first: our boys did indeed earn their way into the tournament today, drawing a No. 9 seed and a first-round date against Creighton. Of course, the reward if we were fortunate enough to win that one: a second-round date with North Carolina, inarguably one of the five best teams in the country (and a likely candidate to see multiple players on its 2012 roster drafted into the National Basketball Association). But, there will be plenty of opportunity to worry about that, or to dream about the possibilities.
(Note: Click here, for information about tickets.)
First, there's Creighton, who may not be 100 percent thrilled about its seeding (I like this, actually). And really, before we even get to that, there's an opportunity to celebrate being here in the first place.
Really, to stop and think about it, this is a team that started 14 different starting lineups over the course of the season, at one point lost 4 consecutive conference games, made me give up on it about 45 different times ... and yet, they just kept coming back. Anthony Grant, for all my complaining about him, has done a great job coaching this team this year.
— Every college basketball tournament time means a list of tournament snubs, and another series of columns and opinion pieces about John Calipari, coach of the No. 1 overall seed in this year's bracket. Here's a version of this year's story.
This time, though, Calipari really does have the best roster, the best team, the best season. Even in the nadir of that night in 2008, he believed he’d have another chance to win it all. He’s got it with this group. Whether Kentucky can deliver a title won’t change whether Calipari is a great coach. But if it won’t change what you think of him, what’s the point?Also, there's a chance Duke and Kentucky could play for their regional title, which nearly killed Dick Vitale.
— I would also be remiss to leave out future SEC member Missouri, who left the Big XII with a championship and an "S-E-C!" chant. Well played.
And with that, we'll get to working on a bracket. And this year's version has Alabama vs. UNC in the second round. Roll Tide.