The Kentucky Wildcats continue to help themselves in the war of attrition known as the college basketball rankings. The Wildcats have not lost a game in over a month, and sometimes not losing is the only thing you need to do.
After losses from Villanova, Florida State, Duke, Maryland, and others, Kentucky has no choice but to look like a team on the rise. Despite having a fairly terrible game statistically, the Wildcats still beat a top 15 Auburn team on Saturday after a similar win at Texas A&M on Tuesday.
All of this was enough for Kentucky to climb to No. 6 in the latest AP Top 25 Poll, up two spots from last week. The top five consists of Kansas, Gonzaga, Dayton, Baylor and San Diego State.
Jeff Borzello has seen no other option than to lift. the Cats in his ESPN College Basketball Power Rankings. Kentucky jumped from No. 13 last week up to No. 9 after another undefeated week. This is what Borzello had to say about the Wildcats:
“The Wildcats locked up their first SEC regular-season title since 2017, beating Auburn on Saturday and extending their lead to three games over the Tigers with two games remaining. John Calipari has his team playing its best basketball of the season, winning eight games in a row since the loss at Auburn on Feb. 1. The catalyst for the recent stretch of stellar play has been Immanuel Quickley, who made another SEC Player of the Year statement over the weekend, finishing with 18 points and 12 rebounds against Auburn. But the key in March will be Ashton Hagans, who needs to break out of his offensive slump for Kentucky to reach its peak. He seemed to take steps forward against Texas A&M, but then he went 2-for-13 against Auburn — although he did have five assists, one turnover and three steals.”
Kentucky also moved from No. 9 to No. 7 in the CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 ranking this week. Gary Parrish led his post with an update on Kentucky, as they are obviously one of the hottest teams in the country right now.
“Kentucky opened the 2019-20 season with an 8-3 record featuring a loss to an Evansville team that’s now 0-18 in the Missouri Valley Conference plus a loss to Utah, which is currently 6-11 in the Pac-12,” Parrish wrote. “So, naturally, skeptics emerged. But a lot has changed since then. Namely, Immanuel Quickley has developed into a possible SEC Player of the Year. Nick Richards has also emerged as a reliable big. And — surprise, surprise — the Wildcats suddenly look like Final Four contenders once again.”
The Cats made their biggest jump of the year in the NET Rankings, climbing from No. 21 to No. 14 in the last week. And while that wants to give me faith in the system, Duke has lost three of their last four games and have not moved from No. 6. Perhaps more mind-boggling is that Arizona has twice as many losses as Kentucky and moved up to No. 10 this week. Go home, NET Rankings. You’re drunk.
Joe Lunardi has Kentucky firmly on the 3-seed line in the latest ESPN Bracketology. They currently sit in a region with Gonzaga as the No. 1 and Florida State as the No. 2. I would not look forward to that match-up with FSU, but all things considered I would lock that prediction in today if I could. Here is a look at the region as a whole: