It’s hard to find a hotter team in the country than the Kentucky Wildcats.
The Cats have won eight straight and continue to take down tough opponents, as they have defeated three ranked opponents during their current win streak. They also won on the road against a Florida team that is ranked 40th in NET, which makes that a Quadrant I win for the Cats.
With the hot play, Kentucky’s NCAA Tournament resume continues to improve. The Cats have been locked in as a 2 seed the past handful of weeks, but after sealing their eighth straight win in comeback fashion over Florida, one version of bracketology has the Cats as a 1 seed.
Bracket Wag has the Cats as the top seed in the West Region, which takes place in Anaheim got the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight rounds. The Cats would actually stay somewhat close to him in the first weekend with games in Columbus.
Though California may not be a preferred destination for Kentucky fans, being a 1 seed would be a considerable advantage for the Wildcats.
Kentucky would not have to deal with teams such as Duke or Tennessee in their own region and would have a more favorable path to the Final Four.
Gonzaga poses the most significant threat as the 2 seed in the region, but the other top seeds include a Houston team who plays in a weak conference, a Louisville team Kentucky defeated by double digits on the rod, and a Texas Tech squad who was just demolished by a Kansas team Kentucky defeated. The Red Raiders have also lost four of their last six games.
Here’s a look at what Kentucky’s projected region looks like:
- 1 seed - Kentucky Wildcats
- 2 seed - Gonzaga Bulldogs
- 3 seed - Houston Cougars
- 4 seed - Louisville Cardinals
- 5 seed - Texas Tech Red Raiders
- 6 seed - Kansas State Wildcats
- 7 seed - Buffalo Bulls
- 8 seed - Syracuse Orange
A potential matchup to watch out for is a second-round game with Syracuse. The Orange defeated the same Duke team that demolished Kentucky on the road. The Cuse also feature a stifling zone defense that other teams have given Kentucky trouble with. Thus, this could be the definition of a trap game for the Cats if both teams were to advance past the first round.
Of course, if Kentucky and Louisville meet in the Sweet 16, it would be one of the most hyped games of the entire tournament.
There’s also the unlikely chance that 6 seed Kansas State could meet Kentucky in the Elite Eight for a rematch of last year’s Sweet 16 game in Atlanta. It would hard for the Big 12 Wildcats to make it that far, as they’d likely need to beat Houston and Gonzaga to make it that far.
The same goes for Buffalo, who the Cats beat in a shootout in the Round of 32 last season. They’re fully capable of making it to the Elite Eight, and you can bet that’d be another high-scoring affair.
This would be a challenging region for the Cats, but it’s far more favorable than being a 2 seed in the same region as Duke, which has been a popular bracketology prediction for several weeks now.