People will remember for a long time the 17-point comeback put together by this Kentucky Wildcats squad in Morgantown.
The victory was made sweeter by the fact that everyone was discounting Kentucky’s chances in this matchup, myself included. Two lackluster performances against South Carolina and Florida were followed by a gutsy win over Mississippi State, but what chance did the freshmen stand against a veteran team that liked to press and force turnovers?
Luckily for us all, the young kids proved us wrong and showed a fight and toughness that everyone has been wanting (and expecting) to see from such a talented group. It also helped that, for the first time in a couple weeks, everyone was available to play (with the exception of Jemarl Baker).
Jarred Vanderbilt played in his fourth game after missing the first half of the season recovering from a foot injury. Quade Green was also in his third game back from a back injury that had sidelined him for three games.
Now that the full team is healthy and getting a chance to practice and play together, we can start to see just what this team can do. With Green almost back to 100% and Vanderbilt slowly starting to find his way on the court and how he fits in with the team, UK is showing how difficult it will be to seed them once the field of 64 is set in March.
The latest bracketology from ESPN expert Joe Lunardi has Kentucky as a five seed in the South Region, which also features Virginia (1), Michigan State (2), Cincinnati (3), West Virginia (4) and Louisville (6).
It’s actually the same seed Kentucky got last week, though that was in the West region, with the possibility of having to play through Arizona (the four seed), Duke (the one seed), and Oklahoma (the three seed) just for a chance to play in the Final Four. This “region of death” would obviously be a nightmare, but I have a hard time seeing this as a possibility now.
I don’t know where Kentucky will end up once the bracket is set. But their victory over the Mountaineers this weekend made the seeding process that much harder.
Obviously, there’s still a lot to figure out and no one really knows what sort of fruit the addition of Vanderbilt will bear, but if the Wildcats can capitalize on the momentum they’ve built over the last two games and finish conference play on a high note, they can set themselves up for a nice run come tournament time.
Where do you think Kentucky will be seeded in March?