NCAA Selection Committee to Keep Close Eye on Kentucky without Noel

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The loss of Nerlens Noel not only hurts the team going forward, but it could also hurt the team’s chances of a NCAA bid if they don’t continue to improve. spoke with the NCAA Selection Chair and he will definitely be keeping an eye on the Wildcats.

The NCAA tournament selection committee always assesses a team in the sense of what team will be on the court in March. And one with Noel would look a lot different than a Wildcats team without him.

“As with any injury that is significant to any player around the country, obviously it is truly a shame what has happened to Nerlens Noel,” said Mike Bobinski, chair of the NCAA tournament selection committee, during a teleconference Wednesday. “Sorry to see that for him personally, and for the Kentucky team.

“The reality is we have about 4½ weeks of basketball left to be able to watch Kentucky play and to see how they perform without him in the lineup now, and that will really tell the story I think of how we ultimately judge and view Kentucky. It is way too early to consider them in, out or in between. We will clearly be watching them closely to to see how they are able to play without a young man who clearly has been an important part of their success to this point.”

Eric Prisbell looks at the immediate and long term future of Kentucky and thinks it has an uphill battle to make the tournament.

Looming on the immediate horizon for the Wildcats is a road date at Tennessee on Saturday, which would be particularly challenging without Noel in the lineup. After that, only home games against Missouri on Feb. 23 and Florida on March 9 await as opportunities against top-50 teams.

Kentucky is not in Florida’s class this season. But in a wildly unpredictable college basketball season, the Wildcats were playing like an NCAA tournament team. And few opponents would want anything to do with an improving Wildcats team, and especially Noel, in March.

Without Noel, Kentucky has an uphill climb to reach the NCAA tournament.

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About the Author

Scott Anderson
I love covering the Kentucky Wildcats and even though I can't cheer on the outside when I go to games now, I am definitely cheering on the inside. You can follow me at @SAndersonNOB on twitter.
  • James Allen Burrows

    Well I guess we will have to wait and see what happens GO BIG BLUE

  • Paige Keller

    The NCAA needs to start looking at other teams beside the University of Kentucky. UK has not given the NCAA any reasons to be “watching” them. Just because we had a player injured is not a reason for speculation for any wrong doing or misconduct surrounding UK. There are many more schools that need to be looked at and watched besides UK for once.

    • Michael Goosey

      Its not the fact that they are watching UK for wrong doings. Its the fact that we lost the start player and soul leader on the court for our team. Without Noel we are going to play a really different style of basketball. We cant rely on having a big in the paint now to shut it down. The NCAA is going to look at the program as if this is now day one. No wins or losses up till this point is going to really matter. We have to win and show that we can still compete at the tourney level to get a bit.

      The NCAA selection committee is doing what they need to do. I would expect nothing less. Kentucky still can get a bit, we just need to play it to win it. Look at it as if we are still on the bubble of getting in. We cant afford to loose one game other then to Florida to know we can still make it. I don’t think that we have a shot any other way at this point.


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