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Kentucky finishes at No. 7 in final Coaches Poll

At least they finished ahead of all the REALLY bad guys.

NCAA Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament-Press Conference Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats finished the regular season with a record of 25-6, and for most of February looked like one of the top teams in the country. Joe Lunardi had them listed as a 2-seed, a rested and healthy Ashton Hagans was practicing with the team, and the role players were really starting to step up.

All signs pointed to a special run for the Cats, but that was unfortunately cut short due to the tournament being canceled. Looking at the end of season rankings, though, it is clear that the entire season was special considering the rocky start and the Evansville loss.

USA Today announced their final Coaches Poll of the season on Monday, and Kentucky was firmly in the top 10 coming in at No. 7. The only other SEC team to appear in the poll was Auburn at No. 20.

USA Today Coaches Poll

  1. Kansas Jayhawks
  2. Gonzaga Bulldogs
  3. Dayton Flyers
  4. Baylor Bears
  5. Florida State Seminoles
  6. San Diego State Aztecs
  7. Kentucky Wildcats
  8. Duke Blue Devils
  9. Villanova Wildcats
  10. Creighton Bluejays
  11. Maryland Terrapins
  12. Michigan State Spartans
  13. Louisville Cardinals
  14. Oregon Ducks
  15. Seton Hall Pirates
  16. BYU Cougars
  17. Virginia Cavaliers
  18. Ohio State Buckeyes
  19. Wisconsin Badgers
  20. Auburn Tigers
  21. Butler Bulldogs
  22. Illinois Fighting Illini
  23. Houston Cougars
  24. West Virginia Mountaineers
  25. Iowa Hawkeyes

For a team that once felt like it was in danger of falling out of the top-25, a No. 7 finish is a big success. Of course, Big Blue Nation will never be satisfied with anything other than No. 1. However, at least they finished ahead of Duke (No. 8) and Louisville (No. 13).

Now the attention all turns to the off-season. Who goes? Who comes back? Will there be an option for an extra year of eligibility for Nate Sestina? Will there be an increase in scholarship limits?

All of these questions will be answered in due time. But for now, enjoy these final rankings as a representation of how far this team came during the season.