Kentucky is holding steady as a 3 seed in the latest bracketology projection released by Jerry Palm of CBS Sports Thursday morning.
A popular projection has placed Kentucky as a 3 seed in the East Region, but Palm’s projection places Kentucky in the Midwest Region.
Kansas holds the 1 seed in the Midwest Region, so a theoretical Elite Eight matchup could be a rematch of the Jayhawks and the Wildcats. However, for Kentucky to get that far, they would have a tough road ahead.
Palm’s projection places Akron as the 14 seed. The Zips should be an easy win, but then the Wildcats would face either Maryland or TCU/Syracuse. Maryland started the season strong, but has faltered late, going 2-4 over their last six games. However, the Wildcats have struggled defending opposing point guards and Melo Trimble could cause problems for Kentucky.
Syracuse is a bubble team with some big wins on their resume (Duke, Virginia, Florida State) but some head-scratching losses (St. Johns, Boston College, Georgetown) so it’s hard to gauge the Orange, but with the upsets they’ve pulled this year, the Orange could be a threat.
Between Syracuse and TCU, I would probably rather play the Horned Frogs.
A theoretical Sweet 16 matchup that bracketologists (and probably the tournament committee) would love to see is Kentucky vs Louisville. Palm’s projection would place the two on a crash course in Kansas City. Louisville won the first matchup, but basketball fans would probably love to see a rematch with a spot in the regional final on the line.
According to Palm’s projection, Florida State, Florida, and Duke join Kentucky on the 3 seed line. Louisville, Arizona, Oregon, and Baylor make up the 2 line. Gonzaga, UNC, Kansas, and Villanova take the top 4 seeds.
Over at ESPN, Joe Lunardi also has Kentucky as the Midwest’s 3 seed. Lunardi also placed Akron as the 14 seed.
The 6 seed in Lunardi’s projection is Notre Dame, with Seton Hall and TCU fighting for the 11 seed. Lunardi moved away from a potential UK/UL Sweet 16 matchup, placing Arizona as the 2 seed in the Midwest.
Florida, Florida State, and Butler join Kentucky on the 3 line. Lunardi has the same 1 and 2 seeds as Palm. Four SEC teams make Lunardi’s projection, with South Carolina (7) and Arkansas (10) joining Kentucky and Florida.
The guys at Bracket Matrix, who round up what every website and national outlet projects, has Kentucky registering an average of 2.96, meaning they're getting projected as a 2-seed more often than not.
All of these projections have Kentucky and Florida together on the 3 seed line with a 2 seed within reach. That makes Saturday’s clash in Rupp Arena even more critical to the Cats if they want to steal one of those final 2 seeds come Selection Sunday.
How do you all like these projected brackets?