With Conference Championship Week here, the Kentucky Wildcats remain in great shape for a top-two seed in the NCAA Tournament.
In both the ESPN and CBS Sports Bracket projections, Kentucky is holding steady as a 2-seed, but the potential matchups differ.
Over at ESPN, Joe Lunardi has Kentucky as the 2-seed in the South Region, headlined by North Carolina. In that projection, Kentucky would start in Indianapolis against Iona and then if they win, taking on the winner of Creighton/Michigan State.
The potential Sweet 16 matchup would be against 3-seed Arizona, 6-seed Minnesota, or 11-seed Syracuse if they were to make a run. UNC would be the presumptive favorite to advance to the Elite Eight but would face stiff challenges from 4-seed West Virginia or 5-seed Cincinnati.
Lunardi lists UNC, Villanova, Gonzaga, and Kansas as #1 seeds. Baylor, Louisville, and Oregon join Kentucky on the 2-line. The ACC leads that projection with 10 bids to the Big Dance, with the SEC pulling in five. Florida (4), Arkansas (9), South Carolina (7), and Vanderbilt (11) join Kentucky in the field.
SB Nation has a similar setup with Kentucky as a 2 seed in the South. They have Wisconsin as a 7 seed, setting up a potential Round of 32 matchup with the Badgers. Butler is the 3 seed, so those are the likely two teams Kentucky would have to get by before a potential Elite Eight clash with North Carolina.
Over at CBS, Kentucky is also a 2-seed, but Jerry Palm places them in the East Region headlined by Villanova. Kentucky’s path would include a matchup in Indianapolis with 15-seed Northern Kentucky (they were matched with Louisville in the ESPN bracket) before facing off against either Iowa State or Marquette.
Florida State comes in as the 3-seed in that region while Maryland and Xavier come in as the 6 and 11.
Palm and Lunardi have the same 1-seeds but Palm placed UCLA as a 2-seed.
Neither of these brackets seem to be a “Region of Death” as some have viewed previous tournament roads, but with the way the season has played out, Kentucky has just as good of a chance as anyone to punch a ticket to the Final Four in Phoenix.
The guys at Bracket Matrix now have Kentucky registering an average of 2.09, meaning they're almost exclusively being getting projected as a 2-seed and are on the cusp of a 1 seed.
That means Kentucky could theoretically get one of them if either Gonzaga or North Carolina lose this week. The Zags face Saint Mary’s tonight in the WCC Championship, while the Tar Heels will likely face Duke or Louisville in their first ACC Tournament game on Friday.