As most of you know, the so-called Bluebloods - Duke, Kentucky, UNC, Michigan State and Kansas - have not played up to their standards in this most bizarre season and most of them are, or have been, in danger of missing the tournament, including Duke.
However, all of them have steadied near the end and are all playing better than they were. Duke and Michigan State have both moved into contention for bids and are playing at much higher levels. Kansas will certainly make the field, UNC has a solid shot, which leaves Kentucky.
At 8-13 and 7-7 in SEC play, the Wildcats aren’t going to get a bid unless they win their conference tournament.
However, they have now won three straight and missed a four game winning streak by one point. They could close with three more wins and enter the SEC tournament with massive momentum. No one wants to see this team there.
Being Kentucky though, Kentucky fans always have one jealous eye on Duke and in this article, we see the paranoia creep surface with the idea that the NCAA has found a way to be sure that Duke makes the field.
The funny thing is we agree in one sense.
No, we don't think the NCAA is scheming to make sure Duke is in. But if you don’t think folks in Indianapolis, and just as importantly at CBS, are looking at the situations with the Bluebloods and panicking a bit, better think again. The tournament is always about ratings and having missed last year, they’re going to want to have a ratings bonanza this year.
Everyone in both organizations, not to mention advertisers, would prefer to see those teams in rather than out. So while we wouldn't question the integrity of the Selection Committee, you’d have to be naive to not think there will be pressure, one way or another, to get them in.
Except for Kentucky, which at 8-13 will have to win its way in.