UK’s last-second loss in Fayetteville, Arkansas, was particularly painful. It wasn’t just a heart-breaking buzzer beater – the loss also slowed the momentum that UK had gained in the past couple of weeks after a rougher-than-expected start to the season. However, according to Jeff Sagarin’s computer ratings, Kentucky will have an exceptional chance to regain that momentum before tournament time. Sagarin’s ratings project that UK will only lose one more game in the regular season. That loss, to no one’s surprise, is predicted to occur at Florida – with the Gators having a 4.99 point advantage. There are only four other games on the schedule where the margin is projected to be within five points:
Predicted score: UK – 87.31 Mizzou- 84.96
Predicted score: UK – 90.84 UF – 88.77
Predicted score: UK – 87.31 LSU – 83.82
@ Ole Miss
Predicted score: UK – 87.31 Miss. – 82.8
With Missouri losing at home to lowly Georgia and LSU being crushed by Tennessee in Baton Rouge, the talent gap between Florida/UK and the rest of the conference looks to be wider than previously imagined. Of course, nothing is set in stone. Teams move up and down the rankings regularly, and projections obviously don’t guarantee outcomes (though Sagarin is right 84% of the time). The Wildcats could very well drop some games they aren’t supposed to from now until March. However, if you’re a believer in the strength of computer predictions, you can’t help but feel optimistic about the rest of the season.