The hot topic amongst the national media for the past few weeks is whether or not the Cats will make the tournament. After last night’s loss to Alabama, even the most devout Kentucky fans have their doubts. However, The Big Lead’s Jason Lisk went back and examined the fourteen BCS schools that received an at-large big and those seeded as a 10-seed or worse over the past two years, and found the Cats’ chances aren’t as bad as you may think.
On average, those teams:
- They won 27.6% of their games against NCAA Tourney at-large caliber teams (13 seed or better), averaging 3.2 wins and 8.4 losses.
- Six of the fourteen had two or fewer wins vs. NCAA Tourney at-large caliber teams, including in their conference tournaments. The lowest percentage was Clemson in 2011, who got into the First Four game with a 1-7 mark in such games.
- They lost an average of 3.4 games against non-NCAA Tourney at-large caliber teams.
- The “best” win, as judged by tournament seeding, was on average against a 5-seed. Only three of them had a win over a team seeded #3 or better in the NCAA Tournament, while seven others beat a 4-seed.
Lisk says the Cats currently have four losses to teams he projects will be in the field, including Duke and Louisville, which he predicts will be 1 or 2 seeds. Historically, bubble teams would have lost both of those games as well, by much larger margins than the Cats did. That being said, the Cats can’t afford many more bad losses:
If the Wildcats beat Florida once, and get one other win over Ole Miss or Missouri in the regular season or the conference tournament, they are in. If they only get one win against that group, they will be squarely on the bubble in March. If they have too many bad losses in the SEC, they could drop off entirely. I think they get there, but we probably won’t know for a while. Kentucky hosts Florida in their best chance to boost the profile in the final regular season game on March 9th.
Okay, I’m stepping back from the ledge. A little.
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Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
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