Despite losing to an unranked Alabama team on Saturday, Kentucky continued to rise in the latest NCAA Tournament bracket prediction.
Prior to Tuesday’s win over Texas A&M, Andy Katz of NCCA.com projected Kentucky as a 3 seed in the East Region, playing in Jacksonville for the first weekend.
This projection is an improvement from ESPN’s Joe Lunardi’s bracket from last week, where the Cats were pegged as a 4 seed in the South Region.
In this projection, there is a chance Kentucky would get a chance for revenge against Duke who is the top seed in this projected region. If the two were to meet, it would have to be in the Elite Eight.
Kentucky is 11-3 on the season including wins against North Carolina, who is also a projected 3 seed, as well as Louisville, who is projected as an 8 seed.
Kentucky as a 3 seed seems like an accurate prediction, at least if we’re going off the NCAA’s new NET model, which currently has the Wildcats ranked No. 11.
They have had two quality wins and have protected their home court to perfection so far. Their losses are all away from Rupp and against teams projected to make the tournament, so there have been no bad losses as of yet. That’s why Kentucky’s overall resume is better than even a lot of Kentucky fans even realize.
Of course, Kentucky is going to have to play a lot better to stay in position for top-three seed. How they played against Alabama and Texas A&M isn’t going to cut it against the Florida Gators, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Auburn Tigers, and of course, Tennessee Volunteers.
This is what Kentucky’s projected region looks like:
- 1 seed - Duke Blue Devils
- 2 seed - Texas Tech Red Raiders
- 3 seed - Kentucky Wildcats
- 4 seed - Ohio State Buckeyes
- 5 seed - North Carolina State Wolfpack
- 6 seed - Marquette Golden Eagles
- 7 seed - Wisconsin Badgers
- 8 seed - LSU Tigers
That means we could potentially see a Sweet 16 matchup between Kentucky and Wisconsin if both advanced past the first weekend, which is exactly the kind of storyline the selection committee always seems to squeeze at least one of into Kentucky’s region.
Of course, Kentucky vs. Duke in the Elite Eight would be one of the most hyped games in the tournament, even if the Blue Devils won handily the first time.