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KenPom, Sagarin Predictions For Kentucky’s Next Six Games

Kentucky is off to a 2-0 start in SEC play, but the month of January presents plenty of challenges, including back-to-back road games at South Carolina and Arkansas and the Big 12/SEC Challenge at No. 22 Texas Tech. Before turning the page to Alabama, let’s look at the Cats’ next six opponents and what the KenPom and Sagarin Ratings say about the possible outcomes.

First, a rundown of Kentucky’s record, ranking, and position in the ratings:

  • Record: 11-3, 2-0 SEC
  • AP Poll: 14
  • Coaches Poll: 13
  • NET Ranking: 26
  • KenPom: 18
  • Sagarin Rating: 13

Alabama Crimson Tide

Saturday, January 11, Noon, Rupp Arena, ESPN

  • Record: 8-6, 1-1 SEC
  • AP Poll: NR
  • Coaches Poll: NR
  • NET Ranking: 55
  • KenPom: 50
  • Sagarin Rating: 47

Last night, Alabama routed Mississippi State 90-69. On Saturday, they lost to Florida 104-98 in double overtime in Gainesville. Nate Oats’ squad has scored 90 or more points in the last five games and as John Calipari said last night, doesn’t hesitate to fire away, attempting 30 threes per game and making 37.2%.

Sagarin Predictor: Kentucky -8.5

KenPom: Kentucky 81, Alabama 72 (78% win probability)


South Carolina Gamecocks

Wednesday, January 15, 6:30 PM, Colonial Life Arena (Columbia, SC), SEC Network

  • Record: 8-6, 0-1 SEC
  • AP Poll: NR
  • Coaches Poll: NR
  • NET Ranking: 127
  • KenPom: 111
  • Sagarin Rating: 108

A few weeks ago, the fighting Frank Martins pulled off an incredible upset at No. 9 Virginia, but turned around and lost to Stetson at home the next week. The Gamecocks started SEC play with an 81-68 loss to Florida at home on Tuesday. They are struggling, especially on the offensive end, but you know Colonial Life Arena will be rocking when the Cats come to town next week.

Sagarin Predictor: Kentucky -8

KenPom: Kentucky 74, South Carolina 66 (74% win probability)


Arkansas Razorbacks

Saturday, January 18, 4 PM, Bud Walton Arena (Fayetteville, AR), ESPN/2

  • Record: 12-2, 1-1 SEC
  • AP Poll: Received 38 Votes
  • Coaches Poll: Received 16 Votes
  • NET Ranking: 31
  • KenPom: 33
  • Sagarin Rating: 30

Arkansas’ four-game winning streak was snapped last night by LSU’s Trendon Watford, who made a three-point play in the final seconds to give Tigers the 79-77 win. The Razorbacks’ only other loss was at Western Kentucky in overtime back on December 7 and their most impressive win was at Indiana 71-64 on December 29. This game being in Fayetteville has a big impact on the projections.

Sagarin Predictor: Kentucky -0.5

KenPom: Arkansas 68, Kentucky 67 (46% win probability)


Georgia Bulldogs

Tuesday, January 21, 7 PM, Rupp Arena, ESPN/2/U/SECN

  • Record: 10-4, 0-1 SEC
  • AP Poll: NR
  • Coaches Poll: Received 1 vote
  • NET Ranking: 50
  • KenPom: 65
  • Sagarin Rating: 55

Georgia comes to Rupp two weeks after losing to Kentucky in Athens. Anthony Edwards was impressive, but his supporting cast, particularly the big men, didn’t contribute enough for the Bulldogs to be able to pop their jerseys after the game, not just at halftime.

Sagarin Predictor: Kentucky -9.5

KenPom: Kentucky 76, Georgia 66 (81% win probability)


Texas Tech Red Raiders

Saturday, January 25, 6 PM, United Supermarkets Arena (Lubbock, TX), ESPN

  • Record: 10-4, 1-1 Big 12
  • AP Poll: 22
  • Coaches Poll: 21
  • NET Ranking: 35
  • KenPom: 27
  • Sagarin Rating: 28

The Red Raiders lost to No. 4 Baylor 57-52 on Tuesday night. Their best win is over then-No. 1 Louisville in the Jimmy V Classic on December 10. Chris Beard’s squad’s weakness is post play (Baylor outrebounded them 44-25), so if Nick Richards and Kentucky’s bigs can control the paint, it will go a long way in helping the Cats get a win in what will surely be a rowdy atmosphere in Lubbock.

Sagarin Predictor: Texas Tech -0.5

KenPom: Texas Tech 66, Kentucky 64 (44% win probability)


Vanderbilt Commodores

Wednesday, January 29, 6:30 PM, Rupp Arena, SEC Network

  • Record: 8-6, 0-1 SEC
  • AP Poll: NR
  • Coaches Poll: NR
  • NET Ranking: 114
  • KenPom: 126
  • Sagarin Rating: 128

Vanderbilt had No. 5 Auburn on the ropes — at Auburn! — last night before losing 83-79. The ‘Dores have also lost to Richmond, Tulsa, Loyola-Chicago, and SMU this season, so don’t read too much into last night’s thriller. Kentucky’s trip to Nashville on Feb. 11 could be interesting if Vandy is making shots, but the Cats should be able to take care of business in Rupp.

Sagarin Predictor: Kentucky -15.5

KenPom: Kentucky 81, Vanderbilt 65 (92% win probability)


If you’re curious, KenPom currently predicts Kentucky will end the regular season with a 22-9 record, 13-5 in SEC play, with losses coming at Arkansas (Jan. 18), at Texas Tech (Jan. 25), at Auburn (Feb. 1), at LSU (Feb. 18), and at Florida (March 7).

Note: KenPom’s projected final records are based on cumulative probabilities of winning each game, so in some cases — like this one — the numbers don’t match the sum of individual game predictions. Right now, he only gives Kentucky a 51% chance of beating Tennessee in Knoxville and a 62% chance of beating Auburn in Rupp, which is probably why the numbers are off. You can read more about that here.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

5 Comments for KenPom, Sagarin Predictions For Kentucky’s Next Six Games



  1. bluemark
    1:04 pm January 10, 2020 Permalink

    Texas Tech is not in the SEC. Where is the other conference loss supposed to occur?



    • Mrs. Tyler Thompson
      1:17 pm January 10, 2020 Permalink

      The projected final records are based on cumulative probabilities, so in some cases the numbers don’t match. For instance, he only gives Kentucky a 51% chance of beating Tennessee in Knoxville and a 62% chance of beating Auburn in Rupp, so that’s probably why the numbers are off.



  2. ColoradoCatFan88
    1:09 pm January 10, 2020 Permalink

    So basically they expect us to lose to any decent opponent? Lol I can honestly see us winning all of these games.



    • Aar
      3:16 pm January 10, 2020 Permalink

      Me too. I don’t see any remaining games that are unwinable. I think it will be toughest to win the away games with Arkansas and Auburn. Tennessee and Florida aren’t far behind. Except for the Auburn game, it’s the venues, fans and officiating history that concern me more than the opponents. The experience of UK’s five core players provides confidence, though.



    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      7:20 pm January 10, 2020 Permalink

      You know the old saying you can’t beat the refs? Kentucky has proven that to be a falsehood on many a occasion.