Now that the NCAA Tournament is over, I am having bracket withdrawal. Even without Kentucky in the 2021 field, I still got an emotional high from filling out a bracket, following the rankings in my office pool, and betting on individual games (of course I send all my money to foreign countries since Kentucky’s legislature is still acting like we live in the 1800s). So let’s keep the bracket hype going! With the season now officially over, I’ve seeded the top 68 players of the John Calipari era from 2010-2021, and put them into a bracket.
Before you completely rip apart my rankings, I would like to say this was a very difficult process. How do you compare steady 4-year players like Darius Miller and Alex Poythress to good but not great one-and-done’s like Archie Goodwin and Tyler Herro? Do you give a player more credit for being a role player on great team like Devon Booker, or being the best player on a bad team like Davion Mintz? I will grant you, this is completely subjective to the things I valued more.
I present to you the 68 players and their respective seed for The Tournament. The seeds are in no particular order, meaning I did not rank all the players 1-68. In my mind the 4 best players of the Calipari era were John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, and Tyler Ulis. So they were all given 1 seeds, but were placed in random order.
Unfortunately, there were a few players who didn’t make the field and will square off in the NIT. Those players were: Stacey Poole, Kahlil Whitney, Tai Wynyard, Jarrod Polson, Jon Hood, Eloy Vargas, Charles Matthews, Jemarl Baker, Cam’ron Fletcher, Daniel Orton, Ryan Harrow, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Mychal Mulder. Best of luck to these players next year. Maybe if they work on their historical game and memories in my head they can make the tournament in 2022.
Without further ado, here is the bracket as complied by the selection committee (me).
THE JOHN WALL REGION:
My Pick: John Wall
Sleeper: Julius Randle
Best First-Round Matchup: Archie Goodwin vs. Devin Booker
Cinderella: Davion Mintz
THE DEMARCUS COUSINS REGION:
My Pick: Karl Anthony-Towns
Sleeper: De’Aaron Fox
Best First-Round Matchup: Kevin Knox vs. Julius Mays
Cinderella: Darius Miller
THE ANTHONY DAVIS REGION:
My Pick: Anthony Davis
Sleeper: Jamal Murray
Best First-Round Matchup: Tyler Herro vs. DeAndre Liggins
Cinderella: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
THE TYLER ULIS REGION:
My Pick: Willie Cauley-Stein
Sleeper: Immanuel Quickley
Best First-Round Matchup: Alex Poythress vs. Kyle Wiltjer
Cinderella: Alex Poythress
Now that you’ve seen the bracket, who would you pick to make the Final Four? Who got seeded too high or too low? And who am I absolutely crazy for seeding where I did? Let us know, and let The Tournament begin!