Last night, the No. 6 Kentucky Wildcats bounced back from a 19-point loss to Tennessee with a road win over the Ole Miss Rebels.
Kentucky added another quality win to their resume, as the Rebels are projected to be an 11 seed in the tournament according to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi’s latest edition of bracketology.
In addition to pegging the Rebels as an 11 seed, Lunardi projected Kentucky as the No. 1 seed in the Midwest region.
Here’s a look at what Kentucky’s projected region would look like according to Lunardi:
- 1 seed - Kentucky Wildcats
- 2 seed - North Carolina Tar Heels
- 3 seed - Texas Tech Red Raiders
- 4 seed - Wisconsin Badgers
- 5 seed - Virginia Tech Hokies
- 6 seed - Mississippi State Bulldogs
- 7 seed - Cincinnati Bearcats
- 8 seed - UCF Knights
This projection comes only a week after Lunardi threatened to move Kentucky from a top spot after a lackluster performance during their win over Arkansas on February 26th.
Thinking about dropping Kentucky from the top line after lackluster performance last night...— Joe Lunardi (@ESPNLunardi) February 27, 2019
Despite still appearing to have momentum in securing a top seed, the Cats’ work is far from done.
Kentucky still has one last regular-season test, as the Florida Gators will come to Rupp Arena on Saturday.
In the team’s first matchup, Kentucky came away with a road win but trailed by as many as 11 points in the second half. With Florida on the bubble and having far more to lose than Kentucky, the Gators will be desperate, which should make life difficult for the Cats.
Even if the Cats can defeat the Gators, they will likely need to win the SEC Tournament or at least defeat Tennessee to stay ahead of the Vols top a top seed.
Another factor will be the ACC tournament and how North Carolina fairs. The Tar Heels have played some of the best basketball in the country lately, as they have soared to the No. 3 spot in the latest AP poll.
If the Heels defeat Duke Saturday to sweep the season series and make a deep conference tournament in a stacked ACC, they may jump the Cats for the final 1 seed.
All in all, according to Lunardi, Kentucky controls their own destiny to get a 1 seed. It will be up to them to hold onto it.