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Bracketology: UK vs Northern Kentucky looks likely, as does UNC in South Region

Of course, Northern Kentucky may draw UK. It also looks like the South Region with UNC is likely.

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NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

As the NCAA tournament inches closer, the Kentucky Wildcats continue to inch closer towards a 1 seed.

The latest Bracketology for USA Today says UK is still vying for a 1, and they actually have Gonzaga falling out of the 1-seed line, but it’s Oregon replacing them as the final 1-seed in the West Region with Gonzaga being a 2 seed.

As for Kentucky, they earn a 2 seed in the South Region, where North Carolina earns the 1 seed. This is becoming a popular pairing as the bracketologists seem to think a rematch from the December classic is coming, at least as long as both teams can take care of business and make it to the Elite Eight.

This lineup with Dayton, Oklahoma State, Creighton and/or Wake Forest standing between Kentucky and an Elite Eight berth isn’t too daunting. Those other Wildcats would be a tough Sweet 16 draw, but looking at some of the other potential 3 seeds, it could be worse.

Oh, and let’s just go ahead and book Kentucky vs Northern Kentucky in Indianapolis. That’s becoming a consensus pick in bracketologies now, including the latest from CBS Sports:

For whatever reason, the Selection Committee loves putting the small-school teams from Kentucky against the big boys like UK or UofL. But with the Cardinals slumping down the stretch and possibly falling to a 3 seed, that means NKU is very likely to draw UK in the first game, which is expected to be in Indianapolis.

However, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi still has Louisville earning a 2 seed and drawing NKU in Indy. That means UK draws Iona in Indy, but still end up in the South Region with UNC:

This projection also has UCLA in a potential Sweet 16 matchup. Frankly, I think the Bruins end up with a 2 seed if they win the Pac-12 Tournament...which may actually help UK sneak into that final 1 seed since UCLA would have to beat Oregon, who if you recall from above, is battling for one of those final 1 seeds.

The Bracket Matrix also thinks Oregon and UK are battling for a 1 seed based on their most recent roundup, which has those two teams on the outside looking in for one of the final 1 seeds:

All said, it’s looking more and more like the Cats are going to end up in the South Region with UNC being the 1. It’s not the best path UK could ask for, but it’s not as daunting as some of the draws UK has ended up with before.

Which of these projections do you like most for UK?