It won’t be long until Selection Sunday is here, and the Kentucky Wildcats are already in good position for a No. 1-seed.
A 14-2 start that includes a 4-0 start in SEC play is enough for the South Region 1-seed in Joe Lunardi’s latest bracketology at ESPN. That would include the following teams in UK’s region:
#3 North Carolina
#7 South Carolina
#8 Michigan State
That’s a pretty stacked region, especially since UNC, Baylor, and Xavier are all ranked inside the top 14 of the latest Coaches Poll. This could also lead to a rematch with the Tar Heels after their epic December affair.
Still, it could be a lot tougher, so most UK fans probably take this region. The other 1-seeds include UCLA (West), Villanova (East), and Kansas (Midwest). That means UK would have played two 1-seeds entering the NCAA Tournament, and it just adds even more importance to that Jan. 28th clash with the Jayhawks.
Elsewhere, NBC Sports’ latest bracketology has a very similar setup in the South Region, but it has Baylor edging Kentucky for the top seed.
#8 Michigan State
It also has Duke making it as a the 3-seed, setting up a potential Sweet 16 matchup between the Cats and Blue Devils. Xavier and Arizona are also very dangerous, especially with Myles Davis returning to the Musketeers, and Zona still may get Allonzo Trier back at some point. The other 1-seeds are UCLA (West), Villanova (East), and Kansas (Midwest).
The guys at Bracket Matrix, who round up what every website and national outlet projects, has Kentucky registering an average of 1.64, meaning they're barely getting projected as a 1-seed.
The biggest thing to takeaway from all this is that the Cats are in great shape to earn a 1-seed if they avoid many setbacks the rest of the way. They can probably afford three losses the rest of the way, though even that could make it a tricky situation on Selection Sunday, depending on how other contenders for 1-seeds finish.