Conference Tournament week is in full swing, and it is the busiest time of year for bracket projections.
Bracketologists have a general idea of where Kentucky land, as most project them to be a 5 or 6 seed in The Big Dance, but Kentucky certainly has a chance to improve their standing with strong performances in St. Louis this week.
At ESPN, Joe Lunardi has Kentucky as a 6-seed in the Midwest Region, taking on the winner of a play-in game between Oklahoma and Arizona State.
Of course, Oklahoma has star point guard Trae Young, who has seen his national hype diminish significantly over the last couple of weeks. A win in the first game would set Kentucky on the path for a showdown with Michigan State for a Sweet 16 berth.
The positive part of this bracket is Kentucky opening up in Nashville but having to go through Michigan State and North Carolina just to reach the Elite Eight is not an ideal path.
Shelby Mast of Bracket WAG has Kentucky as a 5 seed, opening in San Diego against 12 seed New Mexico State. Barring a Murray State upset of Texas Tech, Kentucky would face off against the Red Raiders in order to advance to Atlanta.
Fans would likely love the possibility of a regional site in Atlanta if the Cats can escape the first weekend.
At CBS Sports, Jerry Palm projects Kentucky in the same place as Mast did, except Palm has them facing the winner of the 12 seed play-in between Syracuse and USC. The Orange were handled by UNC last night, and their chances of getting in diminished substantially after last night’s performance.
A win would place Kentucky against a Michigan team that has caught fire recently and won the Big Ten Tournament, defeating both Michigan State and Purdue in the semi-finals and finals, respectively.
At SB Nation, Kentucky winds up in the East Region as a 6 seed set to face the play-in winner between Baylor and St. Mary’s. Then there’s a potential Round of 32 matchup with North Carolina. Villanova (1), Michigan State (2), Gonzaga (4) and West Virginia (5) also highlight this region.
And Bleacher Report’s Kerry Miller also projects Kentucky as a 5 seed in the South Region, opening up against New Mexico State. With a win, they would take on the winner of Texas Tech/Vermont. As we know, the Catamounts nearly upset Kentucky at Rupp Arena at the beginning of this season.
As of now, it seems like the 5 seed in the South Region seems like the popular landing spot for the Cats. Being a 5 seed is dangerous territory, as the 5-12 games are some of the most common first-round upsets.
But with a couple wins in the SEC Tournament, Kentucky could potentially play themselves into a 4 seed.
Either way, Kentucky will not have an easy path laid in front of them this year.