If you are a sports fan, a really big sports fan, you like to speculate.
You speculate about a lot of things regardless of what time of year it is and if your team is playing or not.
If you’re a Kentucky Wildcats basketball fan, speculation is just a part of the daily conversation. Cat fans speculate about everything from coaching to the roster all the time.
Now, the pundits at ESPN have issued their way-too-early preseason rankings and Bracketology. Fortunately (I guess), both have been good to Big Blue.
Kentucky opens up in the rankings at #4 based on the strength of going 9-2 to finish the season and winning the SEC Tournament. The Cats also have going for it a pretty good returning group even if point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and forward Kevin Knox don’t return for their sophomore seasons in Lexington.
Add to this five-star prospects Immanuel Quickley, Tyler Herro and Keldon Johnson, and the ingredients are there for the Cats to get off to a better start in 2018-19 and make a deep run again in the NCAA’s.
The ESPN preseason top five clubs are Kansas, Duke, defending champs Villanova, UK, and Auburn, though you can probably lower the Tigers down after Mustapha Heron left for the NBA Draft.
To boot, ESPN’s renowned Bracketologist Joe Lunardi also has a favorable outlook on Kentucky. According to his calculations, the Cats should be a two seed in the Midwest region facing 15 seed Montana in the first round. The other clubs in the Cats bracket are seven seed Clemson and 10 seed Maryland.
Again, it is worth noting that this is pure speculation. This does not include NBA Draft early entries, transfers, and probably worth noting heavily, the FBI investigation into college basketball. All three of these scenarios will alter the landscape of college hoops in some way, shape, form or fashion.
With that being said, though, it’s always good to see Kentucky get some positive media, isn’t it?