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Joe Lunardi’s final preseason predictions peg Kentucky as a 1 seed

With Louisville as the 2 seed.

Kentucky v Louisville Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The new season begins Tuesday, and Joe Lunardi’s final preseason bracketology predictions have the Kentucky Wildcats listed as a No. 1 seed.

In what would be an epic showdown, Louisville, the Wildcats’ rival for the title of best team in Kentucky, are the No. 2 seed in their quadrant. The South Region, which is played in Houston, also boasts the Ohio State Buckeyes at No. 3 and the Baylor Bears at No. 4.

Kentucky will kick off the season as the No. 2 overall team. They should, as long as we’re keeping it in the context of the preseason, be considered one of the four best teams in the nation, but there will obviously be growing pains, perhaps even times when Kentucky isn’t even ranked in the top 10.

With three five-star recruits all looking at have a big part in the offense, the overall performance of the team is relatively unknown. We’ve seen freshmen come in and excel, yet we’ve also seen some drown under the lights in Rupp Arena.

Kentucky will kick off their first game of the season against the Michigan State Spartans tomorrow night.

This will headline the true kickoff of college basketball with Kansas against Duke as an appetizer. Both games will be held at the renowned Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.

This matchup ultimately may not have much to do with the team’s overall placement in March, but it will prove how cohesive they are as a unit. With freshman likely making up the majority of the starting lineup, it’ll be a difficult first game against a veteran Spartans, who are returning several of their best players from a Final Four run last season.

However, even a close loss will keep Kentucky at the top among most polls, and a win could vault the Wildcats to No. 1 next week. Either way, they’ll have plenty of games to prove their value, and it just so happens their most difficult game of the season is also their first.