Chris Dufresne / On College Basketball

A different kind of bluegrass statement on Selection Sunday

Louisville gets No. 1 NCAA tournament seeding after winning rugged Big East, and rival Kentucky doesn't even make the field, a year after winning national title.

Kentucky is the top-seeded team entering this year's NCAA tournament that tips off Tuesday in Dayton, Ohio, and ends on a Monday in Atlanta.

Check that: A team from Kentucky, coached by a former Kentucky coach, is top-seeded entering the NCAA tournament.

Sorry, it's easy to mix that up.

Louisville deservedly and emphatically garnered this year's top overall seeding after elbowing its way to the Big East tournament title.

Kentucky, the defending national champion, didn't make the cut. But the Wildcats did get a No. 1 seeding for the NIT.

We will dearly miss the in-tournament dynamic of a rivalry that last year produced a fan fight in a dialysis center before the Final Four matchup won by Kentucky.

You can't call Louisville's sensational 2013 seeding payback for last year, but it is fun to note Rick Pitino's team will open NCAA tournament play in . . . Lexington.

This turned out to be a not-very-controversial Selection Sunday in a wide-open year when it was tough to find 68 qualified applicants.

The heckling was mostly "inside bracketology" stuff about seeding and geography and matchups.

Joining Louisville (Midwest Regional) on the top line are No. 1 club members Kansas (South), Indiana (East) and Gonzaga (West).

Kansas has come a long way from a February loss at Texas Christian, after which Coach Bill Self lamented "it was the worst team Kansas has ever put on the floor."

Miami can reasonably gripe it deserved a No. 1 over Gonzaga because the Hurricanes won the ACC regular-season and tournament titles.

Mike Bobinski, chairman of the selection committee, indicated on CBS' post-selection show that Gonzaga got the last No. 1 by a sliver and it was partly because of the Bulldogs' decades-long tenacity.

The committee basically pulled out an old song from Gonzaga's own Bing Crosby and asked the Bulldogs: "Would you like to swing on a star?"

The arguments this year aren't so much about which teams were left out. Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Virginia and Iowa all had their chances.

There were plenty of questionable calls, though, within the bracket.

It seems obvious the selection committee, like a lot of us, had DirectTV in the room and couldn't get access to the Pac-12 Networks.

The NCAA released its seeding list 1-through-68 and the Pac-12 Conference didn't have a team in the top 20. Arizona, which lost three times to UCLA, checked in at No. 21, followed by UCLA (24), Colorado (36), California (42) and Oregon (43).

Arizona and UCLA earned ho-hum No. 6 seedings, Colorado was a 10, and Oregon and Cal ended up on the No. 12 line.

Bobinksi conceded Cal and Oregon should have been on the 11 line but were bumped like passengers on an oversold plane to comply with bracket "mechanics."

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