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Kentucky deserves more national title buzz, according to ESPN

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The Cats are trending in the right direction

Jeremy Chisenhall - Sea of Blue

The Kentucky Wildcats are playing their best basketball of the season after a week that saw then win on the road against the LSU Tigers and then followed that up with a home win over the Florida Gators.

Despite going 2-0 against quality opponents, Joe Lunardi dropped the Cats from a 3 seed to a 4 seed in his latest Bracketology.

Also working against the Cats is the computer rating systems like KenPom who has Kentucky at #26, and the NET that has them #21.

It is starting to feel like the rest of the country is overlooking Kentucky despite them being on a six-game winning streak.

However, one person is looking at the Cats in a different light. That is Myron Medcalf, who wrote an article on ESPN where he talked about the “real” and “fake” contenders in college basketball.

He listed Kentucky with the headline, “Real: Kentucky deserves more national title buzz” and this is what he had to say.

“In a season full of parity, Kentucky tends to shine. But the streaking Wildcats, who were not mentioned among the top four seeds by the selection committee during its in-season bracket reveal, have yet to stand out in a season that feels wide open. However, they’re (quietly) 10-1 since Jan. 15 and they’re playing the best interior defense in the SEC. They’ve struggled to get Nick Richards, Ashton Hagans and Tyrese Maxey all on the same page for a consistent stretch, but they’re clearly dangerous.

“And they’re following a trend under John Calipari. Sure, the national title team in 2011-12 and the 38-1 squad in 2014-15 rarely experienced defeat, stamping Calipari’s track record of success in the one-and-done era. But his 2013-14 and 2016-17 squads also highlight the improvement some of his teams have enjoyed late in the season. The 2014 team had nine losses entering the SEC tournament and still reached the Final Four. The 2016-17 group started 18-5 and didn’t lose again until it faced North Carolina, which won the national title that year, in the Elite Eight. This group has similar momentum. Sure, this isn’t one of Kentucky’s best teams under Calipari. But this is a national field full of good teams — none great. That means Kentucky probably has as much of a chance as any team in the country to make a run in March.”

At this point, Kentucky is sitting at #8 in the AP Poll and holds a two-game lead in the race for the SEC. Even though it is frustrating to see the lack of attention Kentucky is getting, all they can do is keep winning and it will work itself out.

Kentucky is moving in the right direction despite the bracket projections and will have a shot when March rolls around to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.