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First ESPN bracketology has Kentucky in South Region with K-State and Michigan

Kentucky wouldn’t travel much in this projection.

Loyola v Michigan Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The return of college basketball is almost here, so of course, Joe Lunardi has debuted his first bracketology of the new season.

To no surprise, the Kentucky Wildcats are a 1 seed in a somewhat favorable South Region, which includes plenty of storylines.

The first is the Michigan Wolverines and star guard Charles Matthews, who transferred from Kentucky following the 2015-16 season. While Michigan is still a preseason top-25 team, they lost a lot off of their Final Four team of last season. They also lost to Mega Bemax during their own Bahamas trip, the same team Kentucky dominated just a few weeks earlier.

Then there’s the Kansas State Wildcats as a 3 seed. They knocked Kentucky out of the NCAA Tournament last season, and you know guys like PJ Washington, Quade Green and Nick Richards would love for a rematch with them.

Lest we forget about a potential Round of 32 matchup with either the Texas Longhorns (the Mo Bamba bowl) or Cincinnati Bearcats (Mick Cronin lol).

Of course, don’t sleep on the Virginia Cavaliers, who already had a preseason top-10 team before learning that Alabama transfer Braxton Key is eligible this season. While many will point to their previous postseason failures, this is a very dangerous Virginia team that will be in the hunt for a title this season.

The good news is this projection has Kentucky playing in the South, which feature a first weekend in Columbus, Ohio, then two games in KFC Yum Center in Louisville, Kentucky, so Kentucky wouldn’t have to go far before a potential trip to the Final Four.

This projection has seven teams from the SEC making the field of 68, tied with the Big Ten for the second most. The ACC leads the way with nine, though the SEC definitely has the potential to get that many in.