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Kentucky No. 24 in NET Rankings; Updated Team Sheet

Kentucky won two games last week and cracked the Top 10 in both the AP and Coaches Polls, but somehow, is No. 24 in the NET rankings, two spots lower than last week. What gives?

Undefeated San Diego State is still No. 1 in the NET, followed by Baylor, Gonzaga, Kansas, Dayton, Duke, Maryland, Arizona, Louisville, and West Virginia. Michigan State, which has lost six of its last ten games and hasn’t been ranked in weeks, is No. 12. Huh? You can see the entire rankings here.

As we do every Monday, let’s take a look at Kentucky’s team sheet, which the Selection Committee starting using to pick and seed teams a few years back. Each team’s wins are sorted into four quadrants using their opponent’s NET rankings:

  • Quadrant 1: Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1-75
  • Quadrant 2: Home 31-75; Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135
  • Quadrant 3: Home 76-160; Neutral 101-200; Away 136-240
  • Quadrant 4: Home 161-plus; Neutral 201-plus; Away 241-plus

Why does the NET hate UK so much?

The loss to Evansville certainly doesn’t help the Cats’ case. Kentucky’s average NET win (the average ranking of the opponents they’ve beaten) has improved to 131, but their average NET loss is still 89, the worst of any team in the top 39. Similarly, the Cats are the only team in the top 40 with a Quadrant 4 loss.

The NET also factors in offensive and defensive efficiency (Kentucky isn’t high in either of those metrics) and scoring margin, which is capped at ten points. While the Cats’ average scoring margin is +9.6 on the season, they’ve only beaten one Quadrant 1 or Quadrant 2 opponent by double digits, Tennessee back on Feb. 8. You know how Kentucky has struggled to extend its leads past the ten-point mark this season? It shows on their resume.

Other takeaways

— South Carolina is up to No. 64, moving the loss to the Gamecocks in Columbia to Quad 1. That’s good.

— Kentucky’s Quadrant 1 record is now 5-3 with three opportunities for Q1 wins remaining: at LSU Tuesday, vs. Auburn at home on Feb. 29, and at Florida to end the regular season on March 7.

— Kansas has ten Quadrant 1 wins, the most of any team. Seton Hall and Baylor each have nine Q1 wins, followed by Butler with eight.

— Up for grabs this week: A Quad 1 win at LSU and a Quad 2 win at home vs. Florida. The Gators are currently ranked No. 35 in the NET, so if they can somehow move up five spots (they play Arkansas in Gainesville on Tuesday), that game moves to Quadrant 1.

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.

8 Comments for Kentucky No. 24 in NET Rankings; Updated Team Sheet

  1. loosey101
    3:21 pm February 17, 2020 Permalink

    We need to finish the year strong and hope that some of our opponents do the same to improve our NET ranking.

    As it sits right now, this is the most clarity we’ve had going into the tournament around the realistic bid we will get. Given the clarity, at least we won’t be shocked when we are ranked in the top-10, but get a 4-5 seed based on NET rankings

  2. az1006
    3:25 pm February 17, 2020 Permalink

    Can’t understand Arizona in the top 10 of the NET. They are 18-7, and only 1 win against a ranked team (#20 Colorado). Michigan State being as high as they are is head-scratching too…I know that our loss to Evansville is weighing us down in the metrics, but I can’t imagine that the committee puts THAT much weight on a game from November when determining seeding. We have a lot of opportunities for quality wins coming up, so I guess the proof will ultimately be in the pudding. But, if we do what we should, a 2-3 seed should be the expectation.

    • makeitstop
      3:42 pm February 17, 2020 Permalink

      Wouldn’t it make more sense to weight later games more given that they go by some weird algorithm now so it’s just math? Just write it that way like a pension calc. Or throw out aberrant games like that especially where a player was missing – they gave Duke slack last year for Zion (granted EJ is no Zion). I guess we made this bed for ourselves… and to be fair, much of the year we looked like a 25-35 team.

  3. makeitstop
    3:35 pm February 17, 2020 Permalink

    EJ really needs to save us here: if he plays well down the stretch we could finish 9-3 Q1 and Q2-4 16-1 Throwing out then Evansville loss, which the committee could do if he actually does play well down the stretch since he was not available that game. It would take winning out and hvg either Alabama or UF winning some games down the stretch but since we have 2 against UF and they play LSU and @UT it might be more likely for ‘Bama to move up a few spots – their path is clearer. We have to just win the games and worry about seeding (and mock drafts) later.

  4. Looother
    7:21 pm February 17, 2020 Permalink

    #24 is about right…

    • IrishCat
      12:43 am February 18, 2020 Permalink

      Professional college basketball coaches disagree…

  5. CahillsCrossingNT
    7:41 am February 18, 2020 Permalink

    Good stuff here. The bottom line is don’t lose to Evansville at home. Kentucky has nobody to blame but itself for that.

  6. CahillsCrossingNT
    7:55 am February 18, 2020 Permalink

    24th is right. Don’t lose to Evansville.