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Kentucky Basketball projected to be home underdog vs Tennessee Vols

Tennessee is on the rise and has a chance to earn a 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, per ESPN.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats may actually be home underdogs for one of the few times in the John Calipari era.

According to ESPN’s BPI predictor, the Cats will be underdogs in Rupp Arena when the Tennessee Volunteers come to town on Tuesday.

Sure, ESPN’S BPI has been wrong before, but more often than not, they’ve accurately projected UK games this season. The only time BPI missed was when they had Virginia Tech and West Virginia as favorites over UK, and when they had UK as favorites over UCLA and Florida.

That’s four times in the 23 games UK has played thus far, or about 17 percent. KenPom also projects UK to be a one-point underdog on Tuesday.

What’s even crazier is ESPN BPI now has Tennessee with the best odds to earn the fourth and final 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament thanks to losses by Kansas and Duke on Saturday, not to mention the Vols have a very manageable schedule left if they beat UK.

And let’s face it: The Cats should absolutely be a home underdog against just about any ranked team with the way they’re playing right now. That includes Tennessee, who could be ranked in the top 15 when the new polls come out Monday, while UK may not be ranked at all.

No wonder John Calipari is pleading with fans to pack Rupp Arena on Tuesday. This will prove to be one of, if not the most challenging game UK will face in Rupp this season.

That’s when Cal’s Cats are usually at their best.