The Kentucky Wildcats split their games last week, dropping a tough one at the buzzer at South Carolina and running away late from a good Arkansas team on the road. So what does that mean for their ranking?
Well, since three of the top five teams from last week lost a total of six games, it was almost impossible to predict where everyone would end up. That is what we are here for. This is a rundown of where the Wildcats stand in all of the major polls going into the new week.
The latest AP Top 25 Poll has Kentucky checking in at No. 15.
Baylor actually leapfrogged Gonzaga into the No. 1 overall ranking.
Texas Tech, who Kentucky faces on the road this weekend, checks in at No. 18.
Duke, who lost twice last week, including a loss vs. 9-8 Clemson, only fell five sports to No. 8.
Thanks to recency bias and chaos at the top, Kentucky actually moved up three spots in the CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 rankings. They are up to No. 20 now, and Gary Parrish had this to say about the Wildcats:
“Nick Richards finished with 17 points and nine rebounds in Saturday’s 73-66 victory at Arkansas. The Wildcats’ resume features two wins over top-10 KenPom teams and three losses to sub-90 KenPom teams.”
KenPom now has Kentucky ranked 21st overall, while Texas Tech is 19th.
Jeff Borzello at ESPN, however, dropped Kentucky from No. 11 to No. 15 in his Power Rankings. Despite the drop, he believes Kentucky may now be the most likely team to win the SEC behind the strong play of Nick Richards.
“The Wildcats’ response following John Calipari’s ejection on Saturday at Arkansas could be a huge moment in their season,” Borzello wrote. “Two of their tougher road games of the season are coming up in the next two weekends, at Texas Tech and at Auburn, so Kentucky could have been looking at something like four losses in six if things went totally awry. Instead, the Wildcats finished on a run to knock off the Razorbacks and now look like perhaps the SEC regular-season favorite with Auburn losing two games (they currently sit one game behind LSU). Quick update on Nick Richards’ numbers in SEC play: 16.6 points, 9.2 rebounds, 3.0 blocks. Richards’ emergence into a consistent and efficient offensive weapon inside raises Kentucky’s ceiling come March.”
Andy Katz’s Power 36 has Kentucky at No. 17.
Kentucky fell only one spot to No. 27 in the NET Rankings done by the NCAA, which is what really counts. With the opportunity for road wins over Auburn and Texas Tech coming up, the Wildcats could put themselves in a good position come tournament time.