The Kentucky Wildcats picked up a good road win on Saturday, getting a victory in an arena where they have been hard to find in recent years.
You have to wonder about the message John Calipari gave his team after the game, especially after he found out that the Wildcats are outside of the top 16 teams announced by the NCAA. They were discussed as one of the first three teams left off of the list, though. That has to count for something, right?
Regardless, Kentucky still has work to do in order to either work its way into that 16 team field or avoid falling further down the seed list. With some big games still on the schedule and the SEC Tournament on the horizon, let’s take a look at where the Wildcats stand in rankings around the web.
The newest AP Top 25 Poll has the Cats climbing up to the No. 12 spot. For what it’s worth, Michigan State, who was the preseason No. 1 team before falling to the Cats, is now unranked after going 0-2 last week.
Kentucky also checked in at No. 12 in the newest Coaches Top 25 Poll.
With losses by West Virginia and Villanova, Gary Parrish pushed the Wildcats up two spots to No. 15 in the CBS Sports Top 25 and 1 rankings. He had this to say about the Wildcats:
“Nick Richards finished with 15 points and seven rebounds in Saturday’s 77-64 win at Tennessee. The Wildcats are 6-1 in their past seven games with the lone loss in that stretch coming at Auburn.”
Despite a loss by West Virginia above them, the Wildcats stand pat at No. 14 in Jeff Borzello’s ESPN College Basketball Power Rankings. Penn State, who Borzello argues should unquestionably be one of the top 16 seeds, went from unranked to No. 12 to keep Kentucky from rising. This is how Borzello feels about John Calipari’s team this week:
“Welcome to the show, Johnny Juzang. The freshman from California hadn’t scored more than six points in a game all season — before coming off the bench to score 13 points in 24 minutes against Tennessee on Saturday. He hit all three of his 3-point attempts after shooting just 5-for-25 from behind the arc in his first 19 games. Juzang has played a bigger role in the rotation since Kahlil Whitney fell out of favor and then left the program, and he entered college with the reputation of a knockdown perimeter shooter. For a team ranking No. 350 in percentage of points from 3-pointers and shooting just 32.4% from 3-point range on the season, Juzang could end up providing a major boost to the Wildcats’ offense moving forward.”
Andy Katz’s latest Power 36 has Kentucky remaining at No. 12.
In the best news of the day, the Wildcats are up seven spots in the NCAA’s NET Rankings from a week ago, now sitting at No. 21. As long as they do not drop a game this week to Vanderbilt or Ole Miss, that number should continue to rise.