The Kentucky Wildcats have finished the regular season with a record of 25-6, which I think surprises many people after watching them play throughout the month of November. They also finish the season as regular season SEC champions with a conference record of 15-3.
All-in-all, it was a successful season on many fronts. But what do the pollsters out there think about Kentucky’s comprehensive body of work?
The AP Top 25 Poll has the Wildcats checking in at No. 8, just a two-spot drop from last week.
The NET Rankings (which were mocked by John Calipari Saturday) has been very unforgiving of the Wildcats. After jumping up seven spots to No. 14 last week, the Wildcats are back where they started 14 days ago at No. 21. What does that mean for seeding? Who knows. Nothing makes sense about most of these computer generated rankings.
The ESPN Power Rankings were a big more generous to Kentucky after the Tennessee debacle and subsequent Florida debacle. The Cats only fell one spot from No. 9 to No. 10 on Jeff Borzello’s list. This is what he had to say about Kentucky:
“We’ve been looking for Kentucky’s role players to step up and provide consistency off the bench this season, and the Wildcats finally received some unexpected production with starting point guard Ashton Hagans missing Saturday’s game against Florida because of personal reasons. The trio of Keion Brooks, who started his first game since mid-January, Johnny Juzang and Nate Sestina combined for 39 points, 11 rebounds and five 3-pointers in the comeback win over the Gators. It was out of necessity on Saturday, but will John Calipari rely on those three more moving forward? Juzang and Sestina will be able to stretch the floor, and Brooks has a versatile offensive game that hasn’t come to the surface enough during his freshman campaign in Lexington. Saturday could have been a turning point.”
In the most shocking turn of events of the weekend, CBS’ Gary Parrish is showing Kentucky a lot of love in moving them up three spots to No. 9 in the CBS Top 25 and 1. It may or may not make it a little sweeter that this was done while Louisville fell five positions. This is what Parrish had to say about Kentucky’s performance down the stretch:
“Nick Richards finished with 19 points and seven rebounds in Saturday’s 71-70 victory at Florida. Kentucky is 9-1 in its past 10 games with wins in that stretch also coming over Auburn and LSU. “
At this point, there is only one list that matters. That is the NCAA Tournament seed list. We will not find out the official list until Sunday, but of course Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology guesses have gained popularity over the years and probably too much credence is put into his predictions. Regardless, the Wildcats have a pretty nice setup in his latest projection. Lunardi has listed Kentucky as a 2-seed in a region where Dayton is the 1-seed and Villanova is the 3-seed. Would you take this region if offered it today?