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Analytics Suggest Saturday’s Cancelation Might Have Actually Helped Kentucky

Wins are of the utmost importance for Kentucky Basketball right now. Sitting at 5-10 overall, 4-4 in the SEC, losing four of the last five games, Kentucky HAS to win at least eight more games to make the tournament as an at-large bid.

Would a win over fifth-ranked Texas have gone a long way? Certainly, and on paper, fewer chances to win games isn’t going to help make the case for Kentucky basketball. Jack Pilgrim hits all these good points on what will be a difficult road up ahead for the ‘Cats. If you didn’t read his take, you can check it out below.

Despite Calipari’s optimism, Kentucky’s NCAA Tournament chances are now slim to none

But, as the old saying goes, numbers never lie, and after a close loss to Alabama and a canceled game against Texas, Kentucky’s tournament chances have actually slightly improved.

A week ago, Kentucky had just a 25.4% chance to make the big dance–2.5% for an automatic bid while an at-large 22.9%. ( Now, the Cats currently have a 36.8% chance to make the tournament and the at-large bid has jumped up to 32.9% while the automatic bid bumped up to a measly 3.8%.

According to KenPom, a week ago Kentucky was sitting at 59th in the country, but now they sit at 53rd–their highest-rank in Kenpom since they beat Florida earlier this month.

Now the bad news.

Kentucky pretty much HAS to win 13 games to even think about an at-large bid. The odds between 13 and 12 wins are drastic.

If Kentucky were to win seven of their remaining nine games they would have only better than a coin-flip at making the NCAA Tournament at 56.8%. If they win eight it jumps all the way to 95.5%. Anything fewer than seven wins? Well pony-up for the SEC Tournament. If Kentucky only wins six games, it has a 5.8% chance to make the Round-of-64 in that scenario.

Not to mention KenPom only projects five more wins for Kentucky the rest of the way, settling the Cats at a 10-14 record.

The numbers may have improved, but don’t get it twisted, Kentucky has to be near perfect for an at-large bid.

Article written by Brent Wainscott

Twitter: @BrentWainscott_

21 Comments for Analytics Suggest Saturday’s Cancelation Might Have Actually Helped Kentucky

  1. BlueByYou
    12:06 pm January 31, 2021 Permalink

    You all just need to face the facts and give up writing thi what if articles. This team is going nowhere. I’m a huge fan of Kentucky basketball……..and facing reality

    • Nokneeling
      5:45 pm January 31, 2021 Permalink

      This team will go as far as their politically correct knees will take them.

  2. BlueByYou
    12:07 pm January 31, 2021 Permalink


  3. shepdog3720
    12:28 pm January 31, 2021 Permalink

    Wouldn’t the analytics also say beating a top 5 Texas team would go a long way in hopes of getting that bid? This team has NO right to play in the NCAA tourney, short of winning the SEC tourney….

  4. jim tom
    12:34 pm January 31, 2021 Permalink

    What if what if what if.

  5. Lip Man 1
    1:03 pm January 31, 2021 Permalink

    This team is D.O.A. And that’s not a “what if…”

    • jim tom
      1:14 pm January 31, 2021 Permalink


    • wills
      5:08 am February 1, 2021 Permalink

      I agree …we are embarrassed ! even Cal wish to just say fruckit claim the China covid got us, stop this embarrassment these kids play with their ego and should be in Division III and II besides SEC is too tough for a few of them…. we cry covid china syndrome

  6. Racerr11
    1:34 pm January 31, 2021 Permalink

    Article is spot On.

  7. just a guy
    1:38 pm January 31, 2021 Permalink

    Calculated move

    • just a guy
      1:42 pm January 31, 2021 Permalink

      When the PCR tests are announced as false positives, it’ll all make sense. We probably won’t know till after the Missouri cancellation tho. Has any UK player or tier 1 member been named as the positives? Or are we the only school in the country that doesn’t do that?

    • jaw2152
      2:40 pm January 31, 2021 Permalink

      Well it is not Clarke or Boston that is positive or quarantined because they were shopping Fayette Mall last night.

  8. just a guy
    1:47 pm January 31, 2021 Permalink

    Speaking of Alabama maybe the SEC just sucks. Alabama is 9-0 against SEC, 5-4 against non-conference. Oklahoma missing their leading scorer and held them under 65 points

  9. runningunnin.454
    2:09 pm January 31, 2021 Permalink

    Sometimes the numbers don’t add up; and, these numbers are bs. There is NO way UK gets an at-large bid; only number to know is ZERO.

  10. goteam94
    2:18 pm January 31, 2021 Permalink

    Even if this team found a genie in a bottle, used all 3 wishes and made it to the elite 8 (Noway a final 4) this year still goes down as a L.

      3:59 pm January 31, 2021 Permalink

      When they actually win back to back regular season games THEN I might believe they stand a chance at the SEC/NCAA tournaments.

  11. Headhurts
    3:11 pm January 31, 2021 Permalink

    No real point guard, no post season. I’ll find another underdog/team to pull for.

  12. The Big Lebowski
    6:13 pm January 31, 2021 Permalink

    Helped what?

    Kentucky not get in the tournament more fiercely??

  13. EdC
    8:40 pm January 31, 2021 Permalink

    Oh come on. This site is now inventing fake statistics for at large bids, etc.? Really? A committee chooses at large bids so there absolutely isn’t any math involved in that. End of story. I guess you could almost put some math to winning the SEC tournament IF and ONLY IF you know who they will play. Otherwise you can’t use KenPom’s numbers with any confidence. This is one of the worst articles I have ever seen on this site. Pure fiction pretending you are using math.

  14. wills
    5:10 am February 1, 2021 Permalink

    Go Women’s UKWildcats …I take this humility and watch them

  15. wills
    5:23 am February 1, 2021 Permalink

    Just found out no one had covid not even a scare, it was an excuse too not be embarrassed anymore! +..I agree (D,A,K,D,S) belong in Division III and graduate to Div.II the SEC is too tough for them Now (B,I,T) can play in the WAC or ACC PLEASE continue to cry China covid syndrome in the meantime the Women UKWildcats ease the humility ….hell they can shoot barely have 2-13min stalls, and if they miss they play defense to keep the other team scoring and do not allow self turn overs (walking,setting bad screens,pass the ball over in plain path, miss free throws, time expire) they are decent also they are not out too keep trading baskets near the end of game nor looking for refs to bail us out ….GO UKWILDCATS WOMEN BIGBLUENATION 2020-2021