Rarely has a UK-Florida matchup had as much at stake as this one will in Gainesville, as the winner will earn the No. 3 seed in the SEC Tournament. That means the winner would not only not have to play until Friday, but they would avoid facing the No. 1 seed until the SEC Championship.
However, Saturday’s matchup with the Gators is a game UK is projected to be an underdog in KenPom gives Florida a 63-percent chance of winning and projects a 74-70 Gators win. ESPN’s BPI predictor gives Florida a 66.5-percent chance of winning.
The good news is UK can lose to Florida and still get a top-four seed, but only if the Missouri Tigers beat the Arkansas Razorbacks. As it turns out, ESPN’s BPI predictor gives Missouri a 57.3-percent chance of winning this matchup. KenPom gives the home team a 62-percent chance of winning and projects a 76-73 win for Missouri.
That means that UK is slightly favored to earn a top-four seed in next week’s SEC Tournament, but not enough to feel comfortable. Hopefully, the Cats take care of business in Gainesville and lock up the No. 3 seed.
And with UK being consistently projected as a 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament, perhaps a win at Florida will be the difference in moving up to a 4 seed when it’s all said and done.
I still think the Cats can get a 3 seed if they win out, including the SEC Tournament, but Saturday’s date in Gainesville may end up being the most challenging game they have before the Big Dance.