When Joe Lunardi recently predicted that Kentucky would garner a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament, eyebrows were raised outside of the Bluegrass. The Cats were still listed on the 2-line in yesterday’s Bracketology update, but Lunardi chatted with the Voice of the Wildcats, Tom Leach, and explained a little bit of his reasoning behind projecting the Cats to end up as one of the top four seeds when March Madness rolls around. He had this to say about the Cats:
“I think their best basketball is still ahead of them,” Lunardi said. “And you know what, who’s to say Kentucky doesn’t have, I don’t know, 26, 27 or 28 wins after the SEC Tournament. I think they’re going to be right there for a No. 1 seed, hence the prediction.”
Although his analysis was posted prior to UK’s loss at Georgia (Lunardi’s latest projections can be found here), Lunardi was already thinking the Cats would lose at least three road games in league play. Georgia would certainly qualify as a “quality loss” at this point.
“(Despite knocks on the SEC), it is still a solid, multi-bid league,” Lunardi said. “It may not be six or seven teams (deep), but it’s going to be four or five, I think, anyway. The winner of that league will particularly dominate the regular season and they win it by a game or two or three, which is what I think is going to happen for Kentucky. Again, that’s kind of the basis of putting UK on the short list of teams that can get a No. 1 seed two months from now.”
Leach touched on a few other topics with ESPN’s mad bracket scientist, including misconceptions about the NCAA selection process, in the interview. You can check it out in full here. It’s a good way to kill a little time before the UK-Auburn Live blog, which my crystal ball is telling me will start at some point in the future. Stay tuned and Go Big Blue.