Mick Cronin sounds off on NCAA Selection Committee

Ever wonder why Kentucky is consistently matched up with rivals like Indiana and Louisville in the NCAA Tournament?

According to Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin, it's about the almighty dollar.

"I'm a firm believer everything is so financially driven that no matter what is said on that [Selection] Sunday, they're trying to sell tickets," Cronin said. "Teams could get moved around to get that pod to sell more tickets. Now, nobody will admit that, because it's all about the student-athlete, supposedly. But it's a business."

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In recent years, the NCAA Selection Committee has placed more of an emphasis on geography, which has led the Wildcats to several matchups with its two biggest rivals.

Kentucky played Indiana in the Sweet 16 and Louisville in the Final Four in 2012 NCAA Tournament. UK met Louisville in the Sweet 16 in 2014 and in a matchup of SEC and Big Ten regular season champions, had to face off with Indiana in the second round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament in Des Moines, Iowa.

Kansas, meanwhile, was matched up against Wichita State in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament. In the schools' first meeting since 1993, the Shockers advanced 78-65 in Omaha.

"Anybody who thinks this isn't a business is wrong," Cronin said. "Living in a fantasy land."

Kentucky coach John Calipari has called for more transparency from the NCAA Selection Committee and more rigid criteria for seeding teams.

UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart will serve on the selection committee for the 2017 NCAA Tournament.

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