Kentucky Basketball: Bracketology Cats quest for NCAA title No. 9 draws closer

Kentucky basketball March Madness logo ()Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Kentucky basketball March Madness logo ()Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

Kentucky basketball got caught up in the swell of defeats on Saturday among the top-ranked teams losing a shot at a No. 1 seed. They slid slightly on the No. 2 line and even to a No.3 in some bracketology projections.

We are just 2 weeks from selection Sunday and begin the final week of the regular season. Coach John Calipari is not coaching for wins this week and in the SEC Tournament next week in Tampa, but wants to waltz through the Big Dance and to the NCAA Championship in New Orleans on April 4.

This past Saturday all six of the top-ranked teams succumbed to defeats. An unusual historical feat that was great for the spoilers and painful for the teams who ended up with an L – Kentucky being one with their 75-73 loss to Arkansas.

Kentucky basketball eyes set on claiming NCAA title No. 9 in New Orleans

Calipari may have his sites set on March Madness, but he needs to wins this week and next to keep his team closer to home and avoid falling further when the NCAA selection committee convenes to decide 68 teams’ fate and locations.

In this week’s rankings, Kentucky comes in at No. 7 in the AP Poll but a mere 9 points behind Kansas. Baylor surged from No. 10 to No. 3 being the only team not to stumble on Saturday. Gonzaga remains No. 1 and is followed by

In the Coach’s Poll, it was Gonzaga, Duke, Arizona, Baylor, Auburn, and Kentucky.

The post-season is fast approaching and dates to keep in mind.

SEC Tournament: March 9-13

Selection Sunday: 6 p.m. ET March 13 on CBS
First Four: March 15-16
First round: March 17-18
Second round: March 19-20
Sweet 16: March 24-25
Elite Eight: March 26-27
Final Four: April 2
NCAA championship game: April 4

Kentucky has played itself up to a No. 1 seed, only to fall back to the No. 2 line after falling to Tennessee 76-63 on February 15.

So where do the latest bracketologists place Kentucky at the current moment? Let’s take a look.

Joe Lunardi over at ESPN still likes Kentucky as a No. 2 seed and the No.6 overall seed in the Midwest Regional. They would open with Jacksonville St and then face the winner of Iowa State/North Carolina in Indianapolis. The other part of the bracket features USC/Creighton and Wisconsin/Texas St. The upper part of the Regional has Arizona, Texas, and Providence.

On the top line, he has Gonzaga as the overall No. 1 seed, followed by Arizona, Kansas, and Baylor. On the second line, it’s Auburn, UK, Duke, and then Purdue.

Baylor scored on the win on Monday 68-63 over Texas so they held onto their spot.

Over at CBS Sports Jerry Palm swatted the Wildcats down to a No. 3 seed in the East starting off playing No. 14 Vermont. A win and they face either Texas or SMU. Other teams at the bottom half of the bracket it’s Duke vs Longwood and Michigan St and Xavier.

The upper bracket includes No. 1 Baylor, No. 4 Illinois, and No. 5 Arkansas.

Six teams from the Southeastern Conference appear to be safe bets to make the NCAA tournament while a few others are sitting just on the outside trying to fight their way in. One of those is Florida where Lunardi has one of the Next Four Out teams.

First off though Kentucky needs to win this week against Ole Miss Tuesday on Senior Night and then at Florida on Saturday. Calipari doesn’t put much stock in the final two games and the SEC Tournament, but to position themselves appropriately winning out would do wonders.

Next. Cats locked in logjammed SEC race. dark