BTI's Rants and Ramblings: Kentucky and Duke-A Travel Study

BTI's Rants and Ramblings: Kentucky and Duke-A Travel Study

Bryan the Internover 10 years


Article written by:Bryan the InternBryan the Intern
If you missed yesterday's episode of BTI Blogging Genius, you missed me somewhat debunking the myth that the NCAA tries and give UK tougher draws.  Kentucky, like most teams (sans Duke) sometimes gets tougher than expected draws and sometimes gets easier than expected draws.  It's the way of the world.  But, a couple readers did point out that they felt Kentucky was forced to TRAVEL further on a yearly basis than other teams, especially Duke.  And since it is a lot easier to show this, I decided to compare travel distance in both the 1st/2nd round games and regional games.  Now, maybe you disagree, but in much of the same way that any team seeded 5 or worse didn't EARN the right to a favorable draw, I would agree only teams seeded 4 and better DESERVE to play close to home.  So, below you will see the seasons that both Kentucky and Duke were seeded 4 or better.  You will see total miles needed to travel from campus to the 2 sites needed to reach the Final Four.  (* represents potential route but did not make it that far in tournament) 2010 Kentucky (1 seed, New Orleans and Syracuse): 1,412 miles Duke (1 seed, Jacksonville and Houston): 1,655 miles  ___________________________ 2005 Kentucky (2 seed, Indianapolis and Austin): 1,258 miles Duke (1 seed, Charlotte and Austin): 1,478 miles _________________________________ 2004 Kentucky (1 seed, Columbus and St. Louis*): 536 miles Duke (1 seed, Raleigh and Atlanta): 411 miles __________________________________ 2003 Kentucky (1 seed, Nashville and Minneapolis): 990 miles Duke (3 seed, Salt Lake City and Anaheim): 4,633 miles __________________________________ 2002 Kentucky (4 seed, St.Louis and Syracuse): 1,005 miles Duke (1 seed, Greenville and Lexington): 711 miles __________________________________ 2001 Kentucky (2 seed, Unionville and Philadelphia): 1,343 miles Duke (1 seed, Greensboro and Philadelphia): 447 miles ___________________________________ 1999 Kentucky (3 seed, New Orleans and St. Louis): 1,083 miles Duke (1 seed, Charlotte and East Rutherford): 626 miles ___________________________________ 1998 Kentucky (2 seed, Atlanta and St. Petersburg): 1,237 miles Duke (1 seed, Lexington and St. Petersburg): 1,168 miles ___________________________________ 1997 Kentucky (1 seed, Salt Lake City and San Jose): 4,080 miles Duke (2 seed, Charlotte and Birmingham*): 671 miles ____________________________________ 1994 Kentucky (3 seed, St. Petersburg and Knoxville*): 1,027 miles Duke (2 seed, St. Petersburg and Knoxville): 1,034 miles ____________________________________ 1993 Kentucky (1 seed, Nashville and Charlotte): 612 miles Duke (3 seed, Rosemont and St. Louis*): 1,598 miles ____________________________________ 1992 Kentucky (2 seed, Worcester and Philadelphia): 1,365 miles Duke (1 seed, Greensboro and Philadelphia): 447 miles ____________________________________ That is a total of 12 tournaments in which Kentucky and Duke were both seeded 4 or better.  7 times Duke was forced to travel less and 5 times Kentucky was forced to travel less.  In those 12 tournament though, Duke was given a site in North Carolina a total of 6 times.  And while that seems very biased towards Duke, you have to consider the fact that their are 3 cities (Greensboro, Charlotte, and Raleigh) that have NCAA Tournament venues, while the state of Kentucky only has Rupp Arena, until the Yum Center becomes eligible.  Freedom Hall last hosted an NCAA Tournament game in 1991.  So, Kentucky was already at a disadvantage there.  But, here is another interesting note: Only 3 times in the 12 years above did the team seeded WORSE actually have to travel less for their first 4 rounds.  Those years were 1994, 1997, and 2005.  In 2 of those 3 years, it was actually Kentucky who traveled less despite having the worse seed.  So while there have been some years were Duke has not been forced to travel very far, an overall theme says that Kentucky and Duke have had similar luck/bias in their draws.

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