John Calipari Is Whining About Kentucky’s NCAA Tournament Seeding Again

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

Continuing what’s become a yearly tradition, Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari ripped the NCAA tournament selection committee over the bracket assembled for March Madness.

“I was just in the car and someone called me and said, ‘You’re on murderer’s row again. They absolutely threw the hatchet at ya,'” Calipari told reporters on Sunday after his squad drew a No. 5 seed in the tourney.

The two central gripes of the Kentucky head coach, who owns the distinction of being the only college coach to have Final Four appearances with different schools (UMass and Memphis) vacated: that, despite playing in the South quadrant, they’ll head to Boise, Idaho, for the tournament’s opening weekend, and that Kentucky has a daunting Wildcat-on-Wildcat matchup with the University of Arizona, the region’s No. 4 seed, in the Round of 32.

“Is ours like the toughest again?” Calipari asked reporters. “Like by far? Is anyone in here surprised? We’re not playing here on Thursday, right? Because we just got done playing today. No we are playing on Thursday? We’re playing close? … Oh, Anchorage or Boise?

“It is what it is. They’re not going to make it easy for us. They can say it’s all by the numbers and all that. Okay. … How did [Arizona] drop to a four? … Didn’t they win [the Pac-12] tournament?

Here’s Coach Cal complaining about the seeding process in 2017: “This playing tournaments on Sunday is crazy. They should all end on Saturday. Tell us what these league tournaments mean before we start playing them. The body of work is going to be the major factor — now listen to me — for all the teams. Not for one league it’s important and the rest aren’t important. All of us. League tournaments were not taken that much into account. It may get you in or out but you’re not going to move much on your seed because of a late-season run. Or we go back to what’s your record on the last 10 [games].”

And in 2016: “There are teams that get into tournament play and play well and go from a 5-seed to a 2-seed. We win our tournament and the team in front of us goes from a 3-seed and we go to a four and we beat them. What do you want me to say?”

Mark Few, head coach of mid-major powerhouse Gonzaga, roasted Calipari when he heard of the Kentucky coach’s latest round of complaints:  “I don’t think Cal knows there’s anything this side of the Mississippi, quite frankly.”