A disappointing season is never easy for any fan base to endure — for the Big Blue Nation —- it’s pure agony.
You won’t find anybody who predicted the Kentucky Wildcats would only have one tally mark in the win column after the first seven games of the season.
Now, their non-conference schedule is done, and the task at hand moves to conference play.
After dropping a close one to Louisville on Saturday, the question now becomes not how far Kentucky can advance in the tournament, but will they even get an invite to the Big Dance?
With every passing week, it has become more apparent that winning the SEC Tournament may just be John Calipari’s best shot at getting his young team to the post season.
At this point, it’s hard to imagine this group figuring things out quickly enough to run through the early part of their conference schedule. Kentucky can’t afford many more blemishes on their resume, not to mention it’ll be the year 2021 before they can even potentially get their second win.
So, putting Ws in the book is all that matters right now. It’s unbelievable to think that it will be 2021 before UK can get their second win.
The Cats will have to have an impressive showing in SEC play to receive an outright bid to the NCAA tournament.
In 2013, John Calipari’s only Kentucky team to miss the NCAA Tournament went 12-6 in SEC play and 21-12 overall.
It’s also worth noting that “good wins” will be difficult to come by, making those two clashes with the Tennessee Volunteers very important. Missouri is also ranked in the top 15 in both the AP and Coaches Poll, so the Feb. 2 road game vs. the Tigers will also be huge for Kentucky’s postseason hopes.
There’s also the SEC/Big 12 Challenge game vs. a top-10 Texas team on Jan. 30, so that could be a big boost to the Cats’ resume if they pull off the upset.
All said, how many regular-season SEC wins does Kentucky need for an NCAA Tournament berth?
You could dissect this several ways, and obviously beating better teams will help, but ultimately, the Cats at least need to finish with a winning record in conference play (so at least 10 wins).
How many SEC wins does UK need to make the NCAA Tournament?
This poll is closed