It’s December, but Joe Lunardi hasn’t let the fact that we’re still months away from March Madness stop him from releasing yet another bracketology prediction.
This time, Lunardi has dropped Kentucky from a No. 1 seed to a No. 2 seed in the East region. The UCLA-Kentucky game was clearly pivotal for Lunardi’s projection, as he moved UCLA up to a No. 2 seed.
Sure, losing should hurt you in rankings, but dropping the former No. 1 team outside of the best four teams in the country for a postseason projection is a bit of a stretch. Nonetheless, it’s proof that a home loss can really hurt Kentucky when it comes tournament time.
Kentucky showed some serious weaknesses against UCLA, and everyone will take note of that in March. That doesn’t mean that the selection committee is going to say Kentucky is out of the 1-seed level altogether, but you’ve got to defend your home court, even if it’s against top-level competition. It’s likely that the Cats will run over their SEC competition, and that’ll help them get back to No. 1 seed status.
Some other note-worthy things from this projection: Kentucky would have a Sweet 16 matchup with Louisville (yes please), they’d square off against the defending National Champions in the Elite Eight, and they’d start off against the team that devastated Indiana.
Elsewhere, the first edition of the Busting Brackets Bracketology has Kentucky still earning a No. 1 seed, but it comes in arguably the toughest region with North Carolina, Virginia, Louisville, and Oregon all standing between UK and a Final Four berth.