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Where Kentucky sits in first Andy Katz Power 36

Katz is high on the Cats, but not quite as high as others.

Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

The Kentucky Wildcats came in at No. 3 overall in Andy Katz’s Preseason Power 36 rankings.

Kentucky opens the year with the Michigan State Spartans — Katz’s No. 1 team in the country. And the Kansas Jayhawks came in just ahead of UK at No. 2.

Here’s what he had to say about the Cats.

The Wildcats were the pick to win the SEC. Ashton Hagans is ready to lead. The freshmen are already making waves and the veteran bigs are ready to make an impact. The showdown with Michigan State on Nov. 5 at the Champions Classic could be a title game preview.

It sounds like he’s awfully high on Kentucky going into the season. UK came in at No. 2 overall in the recently released AP Poll, but the Jayhawks did receive three first-place votes compared to the Cats’ two. So, flipping the two teams is understandable.

Other ranked teams that the Cats will face this season include the Florida Gators (No. 6), Louisville Cardinals (No. 8), Texas Tech Raiders (No. 9), Ohio State Buckeyes (No. 16), Auburn Tigers (No. 23), LSU Tigers (No. 32), and Tennessee Volunteers (No. 33).

It’s starting to look like the SEC will be a gauntlet once again, and the out-of-conference schedule isn’t much easier.

November 5th can’t come soon enough.