BOZICH | Which team has earned a higher NCAA Tournament seed: Louisville or Kentucky?
Which team has earned a better NCAA Tournament seed: Louisville or Kentucky? It depends upon which bracketologist or computer formula you prefer?
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Sometimes the Louisville vs. Kentucky basketball discussions are forced, contrived or insignificant. You like Armani, he likes Brioni.
This one is not. This one is as serious a letter from the IRS:
Ten days from Selection Sunday, which team has better credentials for the NCAA Tournament?
Has to be Louisville, right?
The Cards did not lose to Tennessee or labor to defeat Georgia and Vanderbilt.
The Cards have taken down Wichita State, Purdue, Duke and Miami, a quartet of Top 25 teams. The Cards can grab a slice of second place in the best conference in college basketball by taking down Notre Dame Saturday.
Check. Check. Check.
I have not forgotten checkmate: The Cards defeated the Wildcats, 73-70, at the KFC Yum! Center 71 days ago.
Hold all tickets until early April.
Evidence is percolating that Louisville lost more than a basketball game at Wake Forest Wednesday night. Some are arguing that Louisville lost its leverage in an NCAA Tournament seeding debate with Kentucky.
Jerry Palm of CBSSports.com delivered that opinion Thursday, writing that he bumped the Cardinals to a three-seed after the Wake defeat. It gets worse. Palm also eliminated Rick Pitino's team from consideration for a one-seed regardless of what Louisville achieves the rest of this season (Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament title included, evidently).
Palm said Kentucky flashes a credential that Louisville lacks -- a quality win away from its homecourt. That would be the Wildcats' December victory over North Carolina in Las Vegas.
Has Palm convinced you?
Didn't think so. Palm argued that Kentucky also has a better record against Top 25, Top 50 and Top 100 opponents.
This isn't Jerry Palm going one against the universe. Check the updated numbers from the Ken Pomeroy and Jeff Sagarin computer formulas. The Wildcats have overtaken the Cardinals in both power ratings.
Pomeroy ranks Kentucky seventh, Louisville eighth.
Sagarin (in his preferred predictor formula) makes it Louisville sixth, but Kentucky fourth).
Time for me to call timeout to scratch my head. According to Sagarin’s numbers, Louisville (4-6) has a better record than Kentucky (2-4) against his Top 25 teams. (I told you the loss to Wake, ranked 33rd, was damaging.)
Of course, when it comes to the NCAA Tournament bracket there is Armani (Jerry Palm) and there is Brioni (Joe Lunardi). When it comes to computer power rankings there are Pomeroy and Sagarin, and there is the formula the NCAA created (and still prefers), the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI).
Lunardi did not take Rick Pitino's team off the two-seed line in his updated bracket Thursday. The Cards are his pick as the 2-seed in the Midwest with the other two seeds claimed by Baylor (East), Oregon (West) and Kentucky (South).
The RPI also tilts to Louisville. But the Cards better not stumble against Notre Dame. I'd also recommend that Louisville deliver at least a pair of victories next week in Brooklyn at the ACC Tournament.
The RPI has Louisville ranked seventh and Kentucky eighth.
There's more. There's always more. BracketMatrix.com does a wonderful job of compiling data from all the projected NCAA Tournament fields with an update every day.
The latest numbers continue to prefer Louisville.
Would you believe me if I told you there were 119 projected NCAA Tournament brackets?
That is how many BracketMatrix uncovered to use in its cumulative calculations. The consensus from those 119 brackets has Louisville and Kentucky slotted as two-seeds, with the Cards sixth overall and the Wildcats eighth.
The top seeds, as expected, are Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina and Gonzaga, followed by Oregon, Louisville, Baylor and Kentucky.
Is everybody having fun yet?
That's what I figured. And the fussing has only begun.
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