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UK Wildcats ranked 21st in new Jay Bilas rankings

Bilas recently released his top 68 teams list

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Virginia Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Jay Bilas released his top 68 teams in college basketball this week and has Kentucky at #21, situated between Michigan and Clemson.

After dropping back-to-back games, it is a little surprise to see Kentucky that high on Bilas’s list. Here is what he had to say about the Wildcats (or as he calls them, Kittens).

The Wildcats are so painfully young. Kentucky is capable but not consistent. The Cats (young enough to be called Kittens) turn it over too much and don’t shoot well from the perimeter, but they keep fighting, and they are getting better. With road games against Florida, Arkansas, Texas A&M and Auburn coming up, Kentucky must hold serve at home.

Bilas’s thoughts seem to echo most of what we think. Road games are going to be tough and it’s difficult to expect a win in those environments, so Kentucky can’t afford to drop another home game the remainder of the season and probably need to have a solid run in the SEC Tournament.

Auburn and Tennessee are the only two SEC teams that are ranked ahead of the Wildcats on the list.

Villanova, Virginia, Purdue, Michigan State, and Xavier make up the top 5 for Bilas (though as a side note, the list was released before Wednesday night’s madness).

While Kentucky may not be high in these rankings, it’s clear that everyone in the top 25 is very beatable by teams not even in it. At least Kentucky is hanging in there, though they’ll likely be out of the real top-25 polls if they loss at Texas A&M this Saturday.

The full list from Bilas can be found here.