No. 12 seeds don’t get it done this year
For the first time since 2007, a No. 12 seed did not win a game. In each of the last two years three No. 12 seeds defeated a fifth seed.
So, hats off to Northern Iowa, West Virginia, Utah and Arkansas for holding serve against those pesky 12s.
Maybe the No. 14 seed is the new No. 12, with victories by Alabama-Birmingham and Georgia State over third-seeded Iowa State and Baylor, respectively, in the round of 64.
Calipari: Shockers got bad draw in 2014
The selection committee did Wichita State no favors in 2014, said John Calipari, whose Kentucky Wildcats beat the top-seeded Shockers in a round-of-32 game in St. Louis.
Wichita State was 35-0 — the same record Kentucky carries into its round-of-32 game against eighth-seeded Cincinnati today in Louisville, Ky.
Last year, the Wildcats were loaded with future NBA players but were seeded eighth and entered the tournament with 10 losses. They defeated Kansas State in their first tournament game and took aim at a Shockers team having a fabulous season. Kentucky won 78-75 in a thriller, and it went on to reach the national championship game before falling to Connecticut.
“We were mis-seeded by 100,” Calipari said. “We were really good.”
Sunflower State recruiting
Always love a good recruiting story.
Calipari was a Kansas assistant in the 1980s when he went on a recruiting trip to Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. The target was a shot-blocking specialist named Roy Brow.
“I start talking about Kansas this and Big Eight championships and all that Kansas has done,” Calipari said.
The topic turns to academics, and Calipari tells Brow that KU offers every major except veterinary medicine and farming.
“If you want that, you’ve got to go to Kansas State,” Calipari says as a dig to the Jayhawks’ land-grant rival.
“So I asked Roy, ‘What do you want to major in?’ ” Calipari said. “And he says veterinary medicine.”
And he did … at Virginia Tech.
West Virginia’s Mr. Big Shot
Tarik Phillip’s three-pointer that clinched West Virginia’s victory over Buffalo was a terrible shot all the way to the basket. Then it rattled in and became a great shot that clinched the Mountaineers’ 68-62 victory over Buffalo.
“Probably the only one who wanted Tarik to shoot it was Tarik,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said.
Phillp averages 3.8 points per game and is usually on the floor for his defense.
| Blair Kerkhoff, firstname.lastname@example.org