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Kentucky rises in NET rankings

The Cats have set themselves up well for a special March.

Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

The Kentucky Wildcats remain firmly in the discussion for a 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

That’s due in large part to the 26-5 Wildcats sporting 10 Quadrant I wins this season, the third most of any team. Only Michigan State and Virginia (11 apiece) have more.

Kentucky was unable to pick up another Quad I win on Saturday, as Florida currently sits at 33rd in the rankings.

Even so, the Wildcats rose up to the No. 4 spot, passing Tennessee after they fell at Auburn.

The Cats could pick up as many as three Quad I wins if they win the SEC Tournament Championship. On Friday, they’ll face the winner of Alabama vs. Ole Miss from Thursday’s action. The Rebels are currently 34th in NET, so beating them would be a Quad I win.

Alabama, however, is currently 58th, so they need to get into the top 50 for that to be a Quad I game.

If Kentucky wins that game, they’ll likely face Tennessee on Saturday, who is currently 5th and breathing down the Cats’ neck for a 1 seed.

Then on Sunday, Kentucky could face Quad 1 matchups vs. LSU (13), Auburn (17) or Florida (33). But even if upsets happen and Kentucky faces a path like, let’s say Alabama, Mississippi State and South Carolina, it would still likely be enough for a 1 seed in the Big Dance.

For a refresher, here is how the quadrants break down in NET:

  • Quadrant 1: Home Game 1-30; Neutral Site 1-50; Away Game 1-75
  • Quadrant 2: Home Game 31-75; Neutral Site 51-100; Away Game 76-135
  • Quadrant 3: Home Game 76-160; Neutral Site 101-200; Away Game 136-240
  • Quadrant 4: Home Game 161-plus; Neutral Site 201-plus; Away Game 241-plus

One other note: Missouri is currently 77th in NET, so if they can win a game and move back into the top 75, that win in Columbia will count as another Quad I win. So between Florida and Missouri, Kentucky could pick up two Quad I wins without even playing a game.

In other words, there’s actually a scenario where the Cats’ resume adds five Quadrant I wins this week if they win the tournament, as if this system wasn’t already confusing enough.

But hey, at least there wouldn’t be any doubt that Kentucky earned a 1 seed.

NET Rankings

1 Gonzaga Bulldogs

2 Virginia Cavaliers

3 Duke Blue Devils

4 Kentucky Wildcats

5 Tennessee Volunteers

6 North Carolina Tar Heels

7 Houston Cougars

8 Michigan State Spartans

9 Texas Tech Red Raiders

10 Michigan Wolverines

11 Purdue Boilermakers

12 Virginia Tech Hokies

13 LSU Tigers

14 Wofford Terriers

15 Wisconsin Badgers

16 Buffalo Bulls

17 Auburn Tigers

18 Nevada Wolf Pack

19 Florida State Seminoles

20 Kansas Jayhawks

21 Mississippi State Bulldogs

22 Louisville Cardinals

23 Cincinnati Bearcats

24 Iowa State Cyclones

25 Kansas State Wildcats

26 Villanova Wildcats

27 Maryland Terrapins

28 UCF Knights

29 Marquette Golden Eagles

30 Utah State Aggies