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Jay Bilas still very high on Kentucky Wildcats

Kentucky is still ranked very highly by Bilas, despite their loss to Tennessee.

NCAA Basketball: South Carolina at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

It’s good to see not everyone is hitting the panic button Kentucky.

Jay Bilas recently released his latest “Bilas Index,” his own special NCAA basketball rankings. After No. 1 Villanova, No. 2 Kansas and No. 4 Kentucky all went down on Tuesday, you’d expect a lot of shake up in the rankings, right? Wrong. Bilas instead took the mentality that one bad game doesn’t ruin someone’s resume.

Bilas (or The Bilastrator, as he so humbly calls himself in his rankings) ranked Villanova No. 1, Kentucky No. 2 and Kansas No. 4. It’s shocking that Kentucky is at No. 2 after the Tennessee loss. Here’s what he said about the Wildcats.

This team keeps getting better. Is Kentucky perfect? Of course not. But better performance from the front 4 position has been key to this team's development. Kentucky was 2-for-11 from the 4-position at Tennessee in a two-point loss. Kentucky averages 43.4 paint points per game, on pace to be the most by any major-conference team in the past six seasons. The Wildcats also rank second among major-conference teams in points per game off turnovers (21.4), trailing only West Virginia (28.9). Kentucky averages 76.9 possessions per game, the fastest pace among major-conference teams and 10th in the nation. The Wildcats average 26.4 transition points per game, second-most in the nation behind Savannah State (30.8). Freshman Malik Monk is the SEC's leading scorer at 21.7 points per game, on pace to be the second-most by a Kentucky player in the past 20 seasons (Jodie Meeks had 23.7 in 2008-09) and the most by any freshman in Wildcats history.

Bilas makes some great points. When you consider their competition, they’re the fastest team in the country. They’ve got one of the best shooters in the country, and they’re great at scoring in the paint.

The perfect storm gave Tennessee a victory, but this is still a great team. Bilas doesn’t overreact to the loss, and he puts it all in perspective.

As for Kentucky’s next opponent, Kansas came in at No. 4 in the Bilas Index, as if you needed any more confirmation Saturday is a heavyweight bout between two title contenders, though I’m not sure Wildcat fans will like his assessment of the Jayhawks’ backcourt.

Kansas is still very good. If this were a "guards only" game, Kansas would be No. 1. No guard tandem is better than Frank Mason III and Devonte' Graham -- period. The only thing keeping Kansas from a higher ranking in The Bilas Index is some frontcourt inconsistency and defensive inconsistency. Kansas is averaging 85.4 points per game, on pace to be its most since an average of 90.9 in 2001-02. That season, the Jayhawks went 33-4 (16-0 in Big 12 play) and lost to Maryland in the Final Four. Mason is averaging 20.1 points and 5.4 assists per game. He is on pace to become the first player in Big 12 history to average 20 points and five assists per game in a season.

Hopefully, De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk read this and come out ready to prove otherwise Saturday.