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Kentucky Wildcats now favorite to win the South Region and make NCAA Final Four

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Several upsets have turned the “Region of Death” into a far less daunting path to the Final Four.

Buffalo v Kentucky Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Last week, Coach Cal and Big Blue Nation were decrying the draw given to the Kentucky Wildcats.

Being a 5 seed in the South Region with potential matchups against 4 seed Arizona and then No. 1 overall seed Virginia in the first three rounds was going to be a tough path for any team, especially these young Cats.

What a difference a week makes.

Analytics website FiveThirtyEight now has UK as the new favorite to represent the South Region in the Final Four.

When the bracket was released, FiveThirtyEight gave the Kentucky Wildcats just a 7% chance to advance to San Antonio behind the Virginia Cavaliers, Cincinnati Bearcats and Tennessee Volunteers.

However, the Vols and Cavs have since lost their games, clearing a path for UK to make it all the way to Texas as one of four teams competing for a national title.

FiveThirtyEight has upgraded the Wildcats’ odds to make the Final Four to 44%, just ahead of the Bearcats at 42%. This chaos has provided the Wildcats, who seem to be peaking at just the right moment, a prime chance to represent the South Region in the Final Four.

The Wildcats have scored two huge victories to reach the Sweet 16, the team’s seventh in Cal’s nine seasons in Lexington. They now face a pair of games in the friendly confines of Catlanta, where they’ll face the winner of the UMBC-Kansas State matchup, then the winner of Loyola vs Cincinnati or Nevada in the Sweet 16.

According to FiveThirtyEight, the Wildcats have a 22% chance to make the NCAA Championship game and a 9% chance to win it all, the fifth best odds,

If the Wildcats can continue playing as well as they have in the last 10 games, they are a scary opponent for anyone to come up against in this tournament.