Kentucky elimination cements unusual stat involving Duke, North Carolina and Kansas
As the Sweet Sixteen is about to begin, there is a noticeable lack of blue blood programs in this year’s release. Duke, Kansas and Kentucky all lost in the second round, while North Carolina missed the NCAA Tournament entirely.
It is the second time in the last three seasons that these four schools have failed to qualify for the knockout stages. According to CBS, the 2021 season ended a 40-year streak from 1980 to 2019 in which at least one such program was in the Sweet Sixteen each season.
Of course, the Tar Heels, Blue Devils and Jayhawks all made the Final Four last season, so the sky isn’t quite falling for those programs. North Carolina and Kansas faced off in the national championship game, the Jayhawks clinched their fourth national championship in program history.
As for Kentucky, this is the second straight season the Wildcats have been eliminated in the first two rounds. Last year they were two seeds but fell victim to the Cendrillon Saint-Pierre story in the first round.
This year’s Sweet Sixteen already includes a 15 seed after Princeton beat Missouri on Saturday to qualify. With 16-seeded Fairleigh Dickinson taking on Florida Atlantic on Sunday after knocking out No. 1 seed Purdue on Friday, things could get even crazier.
Duke, Kansas and Kentucky all suffer second-round elimination
Duke became the first of the previously mentioned teams to suffer elimination at this year’s NCAA Tournament, falling to Tennessee 65-52 on Saturday. The Blue Devils struggled to get things done offensively against the Volunteers as star Kyle Filipowski scored just 13 points on 6-of-16 shooting (37.5%).
After winning an ACC Tournament title in its first season since Mike Krzyzewski’s retirement, Duke earned a No. 5 seed and edged Oral Roberts 74-51 in the first round. However, Jon Scheyer will wait to wait another year to lead the Blue Devils into a deep NCAA Tournament run.
Immediately following Duke’s loss, Kansas faced off against No. 8 seed Arkansas. The Jayhawks led up to 12 points in the second half, but put the Razorbacks back behind 25 points from Davonte Davis. KU became the second No. 1 seed to fall, ending their hopes of defending their national championship.
Finally, Kentucky saw its season end Sunday afternoon in a 75-69 loss to Kansas State. The game went neck and neck until the end, and Kentucky actually led 62-61 with just over two minutes left. However, K-State responded with straight 3-pointers to walk away for good.
Kentucky committed 16 turnovers as guard Antonio Reeves shot 1 of 15 (6.7%), two things that cost him the loss.