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Bracketologyology: Breaking down Joey Bracket’s latest bracket


March is right around the corner (Wednesday, to be exact) and Kentucky’s tournament seeding is all the rage around Big Blue Nation these days.

Who are they playing? Where are we going? What should I pack? Do they have a Whataburger there?

So many questions, soon to be answered.

Here’s where it stands now, per the richest man in Bracketology: After weeks of wearing the label of a No. 3 seed, the Wildcats have moved back up to a No. 2, according to Joe Lunardi’s latest projections, with only two regular season games and the SEC Tournament standing between them and Selection Sunday.

Take a look at his updated bracket:


And here is Kentucky’s region:


Now let’s dissect and question it all in this first edition of Bracketologyology…


Who up Kansas City

Lunardi has Kentucky in the BBQ Capital of the World for a second consecutive bracket update after four straight brackets with the Cats playing in the East Region in New York. In this projection, Kansas is the No. 1 seed and UK is looking at a probable Sweet Sixteen matchup with Arizona. Then, of course, Duke is poking its head out as a dangerous No. 4 seed up there with Kansas.

How about that for a 1-2-3-4 regional semifinal?

Playing Kansas in Kansas City doesn’t sound like much fun.

If the Midwest is the draw, having to go through Kansas in Kansas City to reach the Final Four is a pretty bad hand to be dealt.

Then again, Bill Self will probably find a way to lose before the Elite Eight. (Wichita State perhaps?)

Memphis is also a likely destination.

On this morning’s Leach Report, Tom Leach told his listeners, “I think there is a good chance they are going to end up in Memphis whether they are a two or a three, because you’ve got so many West Coast teams that are right along the two line, with the three teams out of the Pac-12.”

I agree with Tom here. Gonzaga and a Pac-12 school will take up the top two seeds in the West, and if Kentucky were to be a high three seed, it has three closer locations the NCAA can choose from. If a No. 3 seed is the label for Kentucky, Memphis is a possible spot because (a) it’s the closest if the Cats were to get first pick, and (b) teams like Louisville and Florida State (other possible three seeds) can’t go to Memphis with North Carolina as the No. 1 seed there.

Vanderbilt is in, however, Vanderbilt is not really in.

It’s cute to see Vanderbilt in Lunardi’s new Bracketology, but that won’t hold up, barring a miraculous SEC tournament run from the Commodores. Vandy closes the season at Kentucky and against Florida, easily the two best teams in the conference, which will make for a 16-15 (9-9) record in Bryce Drew’s first year. That’s not a tournament resume. Sorry, bud.

Explain to me how Butler dropped from a No. 3 to a No. 4 seed…

…with wins at Villanova and at Xavier last week.

Then explain to me how Baylor is still a No. 2 seed…

… with three losses in four games and five in the the last seven.

UCLA is a dangerous No. 3.

The No. 3 team in the AP poll is a No. 3 seed in the tournament? The Bruins have three losses all year — at Oregon, Arizona, at USC — and they have avenged two of the tree. Throw in the win at Kentucky and a win at Arizona and how is that a No. 3 seed resume?

Kentucky’s bracket will almost certainly have one of these four teams: Louisville, West Virginia, Notre Dame or Wisconsin.

I would like to avoid all four if possible, please.

There is a lot of basketball left to be played, so this bracket means nothing in the grand scheme of things.

But we’re college basketball addicts and love looking ahead to the Big Dance each year. The only thing from the current projection that I think you can count on is the four tops seeds and the regions they will be playing in.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

15 Comments for Bracketologyology: Breaking down Joey Bracket’s latest bracket

  1. 3wildcat3
    8:13 pm February 27, 2017 Permalink

    Worth noting that, while far above average, lunardi is still not one of the 20 most accurate predictors at this. He kills it as far as who will or will not make the tournament, but not so much when predicting seeds or regions.

  2. tmurphy
    8:24 pm February 27, 2017 Permalink

    I think West Virginia’s press wouldn’t affect use a lot with the dynamic ball handlers in fox monk Hawkins and maybe brisco if he doesn’t travel first

  3. AGSlater
    8:40 pm February 27, 2017 Permalink

    Cats need to avoid North Carolina, UCLA, Virginia, Kansas, Oregon, West Virgina, and Purdue in tourny. This is based on slaters system of bad matchups and team play.

    • AGSlater
      8:51 pm February 27, 2017 Permalink

      Although UK is 4-0 on neutrals this year. Maybe they scared of big blue?

  4. smahurin
    8:43 pm February 27, 2017 Permalink

    I think too much emphasis is placed on location. While it’s easier for uk fans to travel to Memphis than say out west I think it’s more important who you play. They are neutral court sites and every fan not wearing Kentucky blue is gonna cheer against them regardless of location. Sure it’s nice if we end up in Memphis or somewhere close but ultimately its probably the least important thing that comes out of the bracket.

    • maximumscott
      8:54 pm February 27, 2017 Permalink

      There both important.

    • smahurin
      9:02 am February 28, 2017 Permalink

      But I’m just not sure location is important… at all. At least for UK. UK fans travel better than any in the country, but they are still neutral sites. Whether we play in Indy, memphis, KC, or have to travel to anaheim, phoenix, etc UK fans are likely going to make up about 1/4 of the crowd, and the rest will be some mixture of neutral fans (who will still cheer against UK) and fans of other teams.

      We always complain that UK seems to get the toughest road every year. It’s because we’re usually good enough to slot into our closest region. It just so happens that many of the prominent teams are also in our region (geographically) the ACC/SEC/B10/B12 all occupy or at least overlap a similar region. The committee gives preference to location while trying to sort of balance the brackets. This usually means the midwest/south have more top teams competing for slots there, and this often results in a region (usually the one UK is in) having for instance the #1 1-seed, the #1 2-seed, #2-3seed and then trying to “balance” the region by throwing in the #4 4-seed.

      While this year appears to be a change, over the past decade the west region has been the region to be in, as the pac12 has been struggling. And so for location preference we usually end up with KU/UNC/UL/etc in our region whereas a similar team in the west gets San Diego State, Utah, or BYU (historically) on the same seed line.

    • smahurin
      9:05 am February 28, 2017 Permalink

      I know people on this board like to complain about the region preference duke gets for instance. But think about it… the 2-times in the past decade that duke has won the title, they were the #3 1-seed. Which means they were slotted into a less preferable region (geographically) and as a result had a much easier bracket. Now they still won, that’s all you can do is beat who you are paired with, but they had favorable matchups precisely because they didn’t get their #1 choice on region preference.

    • ukcamel
      9:59 am February 28, 2017 Permalink

      If UK plays close to home we have way more than 1/4 of the crowd. Also the fans that travel are way louder than fans at Rupp.

  5. maximumscott
    8:52 pm February 27, 2017 Permalink

    Give me Notre Dame anyday. Baylor not playing well right now.

  6. tmurphy
    9:08 pm February 27, 2017 Permalink

    North Carolina vs ucla would be a great elite 8 game out of the west

  7. Cals Hoverboard
    10:38 pm February 27, 2017 Permalink

    Let me pose a question. Is it so far fetched to think that we could still play our way into a #1 seed ? I don’t see Kansas and Villanova being knocked off the #1 line but what about the 2 ACC teams that are ranked above us? North Carolina and Louisville. What if Duke, Florida State, Virginia, Notre Dame, or Miami end up winning the ACC tournament? We could win out and win the SEC tourney and leapfrog NC and UL. Same thing with the PAC 10. Say UCLA runs the table (not a long shot) and wins the PAC!) tourney. That means Oregon and Arizona will have another loss between now and selection Sunday. That’ll leave the selection committee to have to make a tough decision between Gonzaga and a hot Kentucky team for that 4th number 1 seed. And if Gonzaga loses, that would make it any easy decision for them. I know there are a lot of ifs, and the right combination of loses will need to happen. But not a huge stretch. And then there’s the selection committee just waiting to throw a screwing to us, so maybe it is a huge stretch after all. But I’d be happy sitting as a #2 with all the coaches of the #1 seeds crying big crocodile tears because they ended up with us in their region. Ah the madness !!!

    • CATandMONKEY
      5:59 am February 28, 2017 Permalink

      Yes. It is incredibly far fetched. You answered your question with supporting evidence. Those are a lot of ifs. Interesting thought no matter how unlikely.

    • Cals Hoverboard
      1:28 pm February 28, 2017 Permalink

      Well Joe Lunardi stated this morning that Kentucky and Louisville are both in contention for a #1 seed. I guess I’m feeling slightly better about going out on that limb by saying it on here first. My point was, a lot of crazy stuff happens on the last 2 weeks of the season and this year is shaping up no differently. We just need to take care of our business and then see the selection committee squirm about what to do with the Cats!

  8. ukfaningatorland
    10:24 am February 28, 2017 Permalink

    One mistake he forgot the DOOK rule, they are going to be the 4 seed in the west with the path of least resistance once again….