Starting the night out of the tournament, according to Joe Lunardi of ESPN, Kentucky has bolted to the ‘Last Four In’ category ahead of Saturday’s matchup with the Tennessee Volunteers.
With five games remaining for UK, they will have plenty of options to bolster their tournament resume. It starts this weekend with a top-10 Volunteer squad coming to Rupp Arena.
Add that alongside games at Florida and Arkansas, and the Auburn Tigers coming to Lexington, and John Calipari’s team really does control its own destiny.
Go 3-2 over the next five, and you should be in. Flip that to 2-3 and it definitely gets more interesting.
Anything worse very likely means Kentucky won’t be dancing, especially when you factor in the likelihood of several bit stealers knocking at-large teams like Kentucky out of the field.
Frankly, the Wildcats need a strong finish to feel good about making the field of 68. Being one of the last teams in of a projection like this means they probably won’t make it once some of those bids get stolen in the conference tournaments, which happens every year. You want to be in that ‘Last Four Byes’ range or better to feel good about dancing in March.
However, it’s one game at a time for a Kentucky team that clearly cannot overlook anyone and must bring its A-game from here on out. And after a win over No. 1 Alabama on Wednesday, Tennessee will come to Rupp Arena confident that revenge is coming after the earlier loss in Knoxville.
Time for the Cats to make their final push for March Madness.