COLUMN: Players, coaches gather at Calipari’s for Selection Sunday

By: Matt Levine

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Imagine being a fly on the wall in the John Calipari household. Wait, I can top that. Imagine being a fly on the wall in the Calipari household on Selection Sunday when the entire UK basketball team was awaiting the announcement of its seed and opponent in the first round.

On Sunday, I was that fly. Though the point of the meeting was for the media to capture the players’ reaction to the news, the team was fashionably late by about 30 minutes. It knew it had a No. 4 seed before the players took a step off the bus.

The players leisurely walked (or limped in freshman Doron Lamb’s case) with the swagger that comes from winning a conference championship, each wearing a “Start the buses” shirt and their Southeastern Conference championship hats.

The team was sitting in Calipair’s living room, listening to Greg Gumbel announce how the brackets are formatted. The team looked beat as they all slouched into the couches, but no one seemed more drained than Calipari.

Calipari sounded a little down as he talked to the media, but he credited it a lack of sleep, not due to disappointment in the seeding.

“I am really tired from that tournament right now so it’s not like I’m disappointed, I’m just beat down,” Calipari said.

When Gumbel announced the University of Florida, a team the Cats beat in the SEC championship, received a No. 2 seed, a sea of murmurs and sarcastic laughs filled the room from the Kentucky players. I am assuming that they had first heard this in Calipari’s living room because of the distinct reaction they had.

Junior Darius Miller said he was a bit surprised about how the seeds ended up, but that there is nothing they can do to change it.

“Yes I think we were all kind of surprised, but like I said, we can’t do anything about it so we just got to go out there and play,” Miller said.

Calipari said that he thinks that the committee had a two and a four seed open and simply could not switch the two teams.

“You could obviously see they had a two and a four and they didn’t feel comfortable flipping us and Florida,” Calipari said. “I don’t know what the criteria was, but our RPI was better and our strength of schedule was about the same.”

Senior Josh Harrellson said all the Cats can do now is prove to the committee they deserved a higher seed.

“Maybe we should have been a higher seed, but we can just come out and play harder and tougher and show everyone where we actually should be,” Harrellson said.

It is not clear where exactly the Cats should have been seeded, but one thing is apparent: these Cats need to get some rest. There is no time for us fans to rest though. For us, the season has only just begun.

Ladies and gentlemen, print out your brackets.