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.