UK Men's Basketball

Louisville’s self-imposed ban will not affect UK’s postseason profile

Kentucky guard Tyler Ulis scores a runner in the lane during the first half. The University of Kentucky hosted the University of Louisville, Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015 at Rupp Arena in Lexington.
Kentucky guard Tyler Ulis scores a runner in the lane during the first half. The University of Kentucky hosted the University of Louisville, Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015 at Rupp Arena in Lexington. Herald-Leader

Kentucky’s NCAA Tournament profile will not be affected by Louisville’s self-imposed postseason ban, the chair of the selection committee said Wednesday.

Louisville is the only team in The Associated Press top 25 poll this week that Kentucky has beaten. The Cardinals were ranked No. 13.

UK’s only other game against a top 25 team was an overtime loss at Kansas, which was ranked No. 6 this week.

Oklahoma Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione, the chair of the selection committee, said SMU is another team that has self-imposed a postseason ban.

“Those games against any of the teams under consideration will be included in any and all matrix just like any other team that’s part of a team’s schedule,” Castiglione said on a teleconference. “So it’s valued just the same.”

With about a month to go before Selection Sunday, Kentucky has compiled a diverse postseason profile. The Cats have beaten three teams with a Ratings Percentage Index in the top 50: No. 21 Duke, No. 23 Florida and No. 27 Louisville.

UK has also lost to two teams outside the RPI top 100: No. 112 Tennessee and No. 119 Auburn. The Cats have three other losses to teams outside the RPI top 70: No. 71 UCLA, No. 75 LSU and No. 86 Ohio State.

Castiglione suggested that the selection committee will not discount any loss or victory on a team’s resume.

“All games count,” he said. “Every committee member gathers every piece of information, and uses it in their personal evaluation.”

LSU is another Southeastern Conference team with an intriguing postseason profile. The Tigers won only four of their first eight games. Since Keith Hornsby returned from injury and Craig Victor became eligible at the end of the fall semester, LSU has won 11 of 15 games.

Two of LSU’s losses were to top 10 teams: No. 1 Oklahoma by two points and No. 10 Texas A&M by 14 points. The Tigers also lost by six at Florida.

Castiglione, who said he had seen the Tigers in person, rattled off details about what is essentially two LSU teams for the selection committee to evaluate. Victor missed the season’s first eight games, he said. Hornsby missed the first seven, he said. Jalyn Patterson missed a game, he said.

“Every game counts,” Castiglione said. “We know they are back healthy now. As they complete the remainder of the season, their full profile will be evaluated and then determined if they continue to play on in March.”

Jerry Tipton: 859-231-3227, @JerryTipton

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