Well, Kentucky, things are looking grim for the 2020-2021 college basketball postseason, according to a respected online sports computer analytics firm Team Rankings.
TR has taken stats from hundreds of college basketball team, run them through dozens of computer brains and has already figured out the probability of every teams chances of making the field of 68, odds on making the Round of 32, Sweet 16, Elite Eight, Final Four and the eventual championship.
Spoiler warning: The 2021 results are in: Gonzaga, Baylor, Michigan State and Illinois will make the Final Four, and Gonzaga will beat Baylor for the championship.
Where does that leave the UK Wildcats?
TR says the Cats will win one game in the SEC tournament and finish 9-15 for the year. TR says the Cats have only a 6% chance of winning the SEC Tournament and an automatic spot in the NCAA field. TR says further if UK by some miracle wins the SEC, the Cats only have a 2% chance of winning their first game in March Madness.
TR, conceived a few years ago by a group of sports nerds at Stanford University, has some interesting prognostications for several teams of interest to many UK fans, such as:
—Six SEC teams (Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas and LSU) will make the initial field of 68. Florida, Arkansas and Alabama are predicted to have 55% chances of making the Sweet 16 after all six survive the first round.
—Four other Kentucky teams (Louisville, Murray, Morehead and Western are all predicted to make the field of 68. Louisville, says TR, has a 52% chance at making the field of 32. Morehead has a 17% chance at reaching the 32 level, Murray has a 10% shot at 32 and Western a 4% shot.
—TR says Duke and Indiana, both on UK’s most disliked teams list, are predicted to make the 68 list, with the Blue Devils given a 10% chance to make the field of 32 and the Hoosiers given a 19% chance to get to the 32 level.
Diehard Big Blue fans, such as me, still hold out hope the Cats will win the SEC. After all, UK has taken the title 31 times — more than twice as many as the rest of the SEC combined. Blue Pride is not to be taken lightly.
(Ken Mink is a former Herald-Leader sports writer in the Adolph Rupp era, more than 50 years as a journalist and author of 26 books. He grew up in Vicco, near Hazard)