Joe Lunardi of ESPN just updated his bracket projection, and it features Kentucky in the South Region, where the Sweet 16/Elite Eight games will be held in Louisville.
This region’ No. 1 seed would be the Virginia Cavaliers, who are currently No. 1 in NET and KenPom. Their only loss is a two-point defeat at Duke. Some think the Cavaliers are the best team in college basketball, though I think it’s safe to say Kentucky would rather play Virginia in Louisville as opposed to Duke in the East Region.
For the last four weeks, all of Lunardi’s projections have had Kentucky and Duke meeting in the same region. While the Wildcats are miles ahead of where they were in that Game 1 debacle, the Blue Devils are still the most talented team in the country, and that talent should only get better going into March.
If all of the high seeds in this South projection win, that means Kentucky would need to beat Montana, Cincinnati, Purdue and Virginia to make the Final Four. While challenging, it’s a far cry from some of the Regions of Death that Kentucky has ended up in over the years under John Calipari.
Here is the rest of this projection: