In Selection Sunday’s wake of the 2013 NCAA Tournament field being announced, three major snubs made headlines on Sunday evening, including the defending champion Kentucky Wildcats. Kentucky, along with fellow SEC rival Tennessee are all but officially in the NIT field, which will be announced at 9 p.m. Eastern tonight on ESPNU.
According to The Bracket Project’s final NIT projection, the No. 1 seeds could be Kentucky, Iowa, Maryland and Tennessee. Filling out the second line according to TBP would include Virginia, who beat Duke at home in Charlottesville, in addition to Alabama, UMass and Baylor.
This is the first time that John Calipari’s Wildcats have not made the tournament, after getting to the Elite Eight, Final Four and winning a title in three successive years to start his run in Lexington. They reached the NIT quarterfinals in 2009.
“They were in the last group of teams that we considered,” NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee Chairman Mike Bobinski told ESPN. Bobinski went on to speak to the power of Noel Nerlens’s injury, saying that Kentucky couldn’t play to a high enough level without the phenom center.
Baylor’s stature is a peculiar one, as the Bears started the season 14-5, only to lose nine of their last 13 games. With Baylor out of the NCAA field, the entire state of Texas failed to have a team in the big dance for the first time since 1977.
We’ll have complete coverage of the NIT here on Busting Brackets, beginning with the announcement of the bracket as it’s released on ESPNU.