Kentucky's 64-48 loss to Vanderbilt on Friday in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals proved to be a decisive blow to the Wildcats' hopes to defend their national championship.
The NCAA Tournament committee passed on UK during Sunday's selection show, leaving the Cats (21-11) to play in the National Invitation Tournament.
The NIT pairings were announced later Sunday night with UK tabbed as a No. 1 seed against Robert Morris on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET. The Wildcats, however, will travel to play Robert Morris in Pittsburgh due to the NCAA Tournament being held at Rupp Arena next week.
Kentucky has now missed the NCAA tourney twice in the last five years after making the field 17 consecutive times from 1992-2008. The 2009 and 2013 seasons are odd bookends for an Elite 8, Final Four and national championship the last three years.
The Cats weren't the only SEC team to narrowly miss the "Big Dance." Fellow bubble teams Alabama and Tennessee were also left out of the field, while teams like LaSalle, Boise State and Middle Tennessee State grabbed the final at-large bids.
The SEC will be represented by Florida, Ole Miss and Missouri in the NCAA Tournament. The Gators grabbed a 3 seed and will play Northwestern State in their first game. The Rebels (12) will face Wisconsin (5) out of the Big Ten. The Tigers (9) drew Colorado State (8).
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