The Kentucky Wildcats have clear frontcourt flaws with five-star center Aaron Bradshaw and sophomore standout Ugonna Onyenso both having had foot surgery and set for lengthy recoveries.
While Bradshaw is likely going to be back earlier than Onyenso, the Wildcats took no chance and brought in 7-foot-2 center Zvonimir Ivisic. It was a great addition for Kentucky, but it didn’t budge its chances in the 2024 NCAA Tournament.
Joe Lunardi, ESPN’s premier bracketologist, released an updated NCAA Tournament seeding, and Kentucky didn’t move, still at a 6-seed.
Lunardi had Kentucky sixth in a region led by Michigan State. UCLA and Marquette are, respectively, the 2 and 3-seeds. If the prediction somehow came to fruition, the Wildcats would take on No. 11 Dayton Flyers.
There have been multiple other rankings that suggest Kentucky will be better than Lundari predicts. The well-known ESPN analyst has the Cats between the 21-24th-best team in the nation. Gary Parrish from CBS Sports has the Cats No. 16 following the addition of Ivisic, which would place them in the 4-seed range.
Vegas has Kentucky’s upside as far higher.
The folks at DraftKings Sportsbook currently give the Wildcats the fourth-best odds in the nation to win the 2024 NCAA Championship. Only Duke, which has a few key returning stars, Purdue, and Kansas have better odds.
DraftKings has Kentucky at +1400, meaning a $100 wager would result in $1,400 in winning.
The Cats should have variety in their rankings, as the plethora of young talent makes them hard to read. Kentucky has the No. 1 recruiting class this season and nine new scholarship players overall, including West Virginia transfer Tre Mitchell and Croatian center Zvonimir Ivisic.