Those slights are interesting on Selection Sunday and for a day or so after as the great machine revs up for the actual games, but when Kentucky and Kansas played for the championship Monday night in the Superdome, there wasn't any reason to still be talking about what happened to poor Nevada.
In retrospect, which is always a handy way to report, the tournament committee did a very representative job, even if its criteria are weighted toward good programs having average years more than average programs have good years. By the time things shook out and the second weekend rolled around, order was not only restored, it was validated.
Fourteen of the schools that advanced to the Sweet 16 were from the six power conferences. (Actually, it was five power conferences this season since the Pac-12 apparently decided to drop the sport temporarily.) The Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Southeastern Conference, and Atlantic Coast Conference placed a total of 30 teams in the tournament, so maybe 14 of them should have won at least two games, but the overall record of those conferences in the tournament was impressive.
Those five conferences - after Kentucky recorded another win for the SEC on Monday and Kansas another loss for the Big 12 - finished with a 51-29 record in this year's tournament. It's true they had the built-in advantage of being seeded better than most of the automatic qualifiers and the afterthoughts from the mid-majors and middling minors, but playing .640 ball in this tournament is hard to dismiss.
Early on, it seemed like this might be the year in which hell, if not completely freezing over, at least opened a chilly window for the little guys. On the second day of the tournament - yes, the real tournament, not that play-in nonsense - a No. 15 seed, Norfolk State, knocked off a No. 2 seed, Missouri, for the first time in 11 years. Later that same Friday, Lehigh became the first No. 15 seed to knock off a No. 2 seed in five hours.
Toss in a win by No. 13-seed Ohio over No. 4-seed Michigan and there was a new single-day record for highly paid coaches delivering gracious concession speeches that they didn't believe even a little bit. "My hat's off to them," Duke's Mike Krzyzewski said of Lehigh, even though no one has ever seen Krzyzewski wearing a hat.
If you liked that day, however, you hated the rest of the tournament because, aside from some minor surprises like North Carolina State over Georgetown or Florida over Marquette, the madness of March straggled toward the anticlimax of April.
Louisville, a No. 4 seed, caught a gust and made it to the Final Four, but the other three teams in New Orleans were among the top eight seeds in the tournament. All very predictable. Three No. 1 seeds fell along the way, mostly because of bad luck. Michigan State lost Branden Dawson to a knee injury, and North Carolina lost Kendall Marshall to a broken bone in his wrist. Syracuse center Fab Melo was ruled ineligible, and if that isn't exactly bad luck, it was certainly bad timing for the Orange.
In the end, Kentucky left no doubt this was a tournament in which form held. The Wildcats proved they were the best team in the country and Kansas proved that trailing at halftime in the NCAA tournament will eventually catch up with you. The Jayhawks didn't hold a halftime lead after its opening win against Detroit. They trailed by double digits in four of their six games, including by 18 to Kentucky in the final.
Kentucky coach John Calipari tried to milk the clock in the second half of the title game and it almost caught up with him, but this team didn't melt in the stretch like his 2008 Memphis team did against Kansas in the final.
"What I wanted them to show today was that we were not just a talented team, we were a defensive team, and we were a team that shares the ball. We were the best team," Calipari said.
No argument there, but it was interesting how quickly Calipari switched to the past tense when talking about the Wildcats, six of whom are probably headed directly to the NBA.
"That's why I've got to go recruiting on Friday," Calipari said.
If the past is any indication, he's going to win that tournament, too, and that won't be an upset, either.
Contact columnist Bob Ford at email@example.com, read his blog at philly.com/postpatterns, and recent columns at philly.com/bobford