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ESPN not high on Kentucky’s Final Four hopes

Time to prove ‘em wrong.

Jamie Boggs - Sea of Blue

March Madness is upon us! Conference tournaments are really ramping up, automatic bids are being handed out, and the sound of our brackets busting is getting louder and louder.

Along with bracket predictions, everyone is already trying to figure out who will cut down the nets in Minneapolis. ESPN’s Basketball Power Index (BPI) had produced the computer’s predictions of who will win the 2019 national championship, and who has no chance at all.

The BPI analyzes team performance and other game factors (pace of play, travel distance, day’s rest, etc.) to predict future performance. The big computer in Bristol assessed every team in the top 25 to predict performance in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

Each team is given a percentage chance for making it to each round. For the Kentucky Wildcats, the BPI believes the Sweet 16 could be the end of the road.

Kentucky Wildcats BPI Projections

Projected Seed: 1

Round of 32: 91.3%

Sweet 16: 68%

Elite 8: 37.9%

Final Four: 17.2%

Title Game: 6.9%

Champions: 2%

ESPN’s system believes Kentucky has less than a 40% chance to advance to the Elite 8. For reference, Tennessee is given a 42.5% chance to make the Elite 8 and a 3.6% chance to win it all. Michigan State and North Carolina have just under a 5% likelihood of cutting down the nets, and Duke’s chances jump up to 17.6%.

The overwhelming favorite according to the BPI is the Virginia Cavaliers. They have a 60.4% chance to make the Final Four and a whopping 31.5% chance to win it all. Obviously, BPI does not take into account previous tournament performance.

I am sure that nobody in the Kentucky locker room cares what the BPI has to say about them. But for people like me, this is hardcore, nerd bulletin board material.