BOZICH | Kentucky, Indiana one win from meeting in Des Moines
Kentucky and Indiana have not met since 2012. The four-season gap between meetings will end Saturday in Des Moines if UK and IU win their first NCAA Tournament games.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Kentucky and Indiana have not played since 2012, killing an annual rivalry that began in 1924 because John Calipari and Tom Crean could not agree on a venue – Lexington, Indianapolis, Louisville or Bloomington?
The NCAA Tournament Selection Committee has tried to solve the scheduling issue: If the Wildcats and Hoosiers win their first-round tournament games, the programs will play Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa.
That was the juiciest local angle in the 68-team bracket that was announced Sunday.
The committee put Kentucky (four seed) and Indiana (five) in the East Regional. (Strange that Kentucky gets a four and Texas A&M gets a three-seed after UK beat A&M to win the Southeastern Conference Tournament Sunday? Plenty to discuss there.)
The Wildcats and Hoosiers begin play Thursday in Des Moines. UK is matched against Stony Brook (26-6), which won the America East Conference. Indiana gets Chattanooga (29-5), winners of the Southern Conference.
IU and Kentucky last played four years ago in the semifinals of the South Regional in Atlanta. Kentucky won, 102-90, as Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist led the Wildcats to the national title in New Orleans that season.
For weeks experts have been saying that filling out an NCAA Tournament bracket will be more difficult than it has been in years. The challenge of filling your bracket has arrived.
Here are other the highlights:
*The top four seeds in the tournament are Kansas (South, Louisville), North Carolina (East, Philadelphia), Virginia (Midwest, Chicago) and Oregon (West, Anaheim).
*The South Regional semifinals will be played in Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center March 24 and 26. The top four seeded teams in the South are (in order): Kansas, Villanova, Miami and California.
*According to VegasInsider.com, Michigan State should be the tournament favorite, even though the committee gave the Spartans a two-seed in the East Regional, behind Virginia. The betting odds on the Spartans to win their first NCAA title since 2000 are 13-2.
Second pick is Atlantic Coast Conference champion North Carolina at 8-1. Kansas is third pick at 17-2. Kentucky and Oklahoma are listed as the fourth picks at 11-1. The odds on Indiana are 45-1, just behind Purdue at 40-1.
“North Carolina, Kansas and Michigan State are probably going to be the favorites,” said analyst Charles Barkley. “But let me tell you something: Don’t sleep on Oregon.”
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