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Bracket Projections list Kentucky as 2-Seed

New bracket projections from ESPN and NBC Sports project Kentucky as the 2-seed in the South Regional

tourney bracket (3)

A couple of new bracket projections have been released from ESPN’s Bracketology Expert Joe Lunardi and NBC Sports’ Dave Ommen.

Both place Kentucky as the second seed in the South Regional with Baylor as the #1 in that region.

Ommen’s bracket projection has the following teams in the South Regional:


#2 Kentucky

#3 Louisville

#4 Xavier

#5 Arizona

#6 Saint Mary’s

#7 Virginia Tech

#8 Michigan St

#9 Arkansas

#10 Iowa State

#11 Illinois/TCU

#12 Valparaiso

#13 Florida Gulf Coast

#14 Canisius

#15 Eastern Washington

#16 Bucknell

I actually kind of like this bracket. Kentucky avoids being in the same region as Duke, UCLA, or UNC. Baylor has had a strong start to their season, and will be a tough team come March. They present some of the same problems UCLA did with two talented big men that can really create problems, but I think Kentucky matches up decently and the hope is that Wenyen Gabriel or Derek Willis have stepped up at the 4 to make that matchup a little better.

Outside of that, I think a Kentucky-Louisville matchup in the Regional Semifinal would be pretty awesome. The Cards won the first matchup, but you have to think that loss left quite an impact on John Calipari and this Kentucky team. The NCAA and television networks would be salivating at that Sweet 16 matchup.

However, the possibility of Kentucky going up against Virginia Tech in the Round of 32 isn’t that appealing. Virginia Tech can be really good, as evidenced by defeating Duke 89-75 (I know Grayson Allen did not play, but that is still an impressive win), but then losing by 26 to NC State.

Lunardi at ESPN had some of the same teams in the South Regional, but also some notable differences.

#1 Baylor

#2 Kentucky

#3 Florida State

#4 Xavier

#5 Arizona

#6 Cincinnati

#7 Virginia Tech

#8 South Carolina

#9 Indiana

#10 Oklahoma State

#11 Northwestern

#12 UT-Arlington

#13 Florida Gulf Coast

#14 Bucknell

#15 North Dakota St

#16 Jacksonville St

With this bracket, Kentucky still has Baylor as the 1-seed but Florida State comes in as the 3-seed. The Seminoles are off to a strong start at 14-1 with their only loss coming on November 24 to Temple at the NIT Season Tipoff. The Seminoles are very athletic and can put points on the board, averaging more than 86 points per game. Their athleticism on the wings could be difficult to guard.

Indiana also enters this bracket as the 9-seed. The Hoosiers had a strong start, defeating Kansas and UNC in non-conference play, but have faltered lately, losing four of their last six games and currently on a three-game losing streak. Indiana has a lot of talent on the roster, and would potentially make for a very tough Round of 32 game for Baylor.

While it is way too early to project brackets—there is still a lot of games left to play—it is fun to play out the hypothetical matchups.

Do you like the bracket projections for Kentucky?