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Ranking Kentucky’s Remaining Games By Difficulty (Part II)

Kim Klement | USA TODAY Sports

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Last week we took a look at Kentucky’s twelve remaining regular season games and the win probability of each, beginning with the most difficult game on the entire schedule: at West Virginia.

Kentucky has since defied the odds by winning that game, followed by a close call in what was considered the easiest game on the schedule: last night’s home contest against Vanderbilt, which was anything but easy. The Cats also beat Mississippi State in the third-easiest game left on the schedule, when we broke it all down last week, after the tough loss to Florida.

@ West Virginia
Sat, Jan 27

Win Probability: 17.8%

Outcome: Kentucky 83, West Virginia 76

vs. Mississippi State
Tue, Jan 23

Win Probability: 80.9%

Outcome: Kentucky 78, Mississippi State 65

vs. Vanderbilt
Tue, Jan 30

Win Probability: 83.6%

Outcome: Kentucky 83, Vanderbilt 81 (OT)

Today we’ll revisit the remaining schedule with the updated odds and win probabilities.


1.) @ Auburn
Wed, Feb 14

Kentucky’s game at Auburn jumped the game at Florida in the difficulty rankings as Auburn has extended its lead in the SEC standings. The trip to Auburn in two weeks is a must-win game if Kentucky wants any shot at winning the regular season championship.

Previous Win Probability: 27.7%

Updated Win Probability: 24.3%

2.) @ Florida
Sat, Mar 3

Kentucky’s chances against the Gators look a little better today than they did last week after the impressive win at West Virginia and Florida’s Tuesday night loss at Georgia. Florida has dropped two straight SEC games since winning in Rupp Arena, the other being a home loss to South Carolina. Both sides now have three losses apiece in conference play.

Previous Win Probability: 27.0%

Updated Win Probability: 31.7%

3.) @ Texas A&M
Sat, Feb 10

The trip to College Station doesn’t seem nearly as difficult as we expected before the season began, but Kentucky still only has a 36.9 percent shot to beat the struggling Aggies, according to the BPI. A&M beat Arkansas by 14 last night, so maybe it broke out of its funk.

Previous Win Probability: 34.2%

Updated Win Probability: 36.9%

4.) @ Arkansas
Tue, Feb 20

The BPI thinks higher of Kentucky’s chances at Arkansas than it did a week ago, moving the percentage up five percent. It now projects the Cats would win four out of 10 trips to Fayetteville.

Previous Win Probability: 35.4%

Updated Win Probability: 40.6%

5.) @ Missouri
Sat, Feb 3

This coming Saturday’s game against Missouri is the fifth most difficult left, and the easiest of the five remaining road games. I predict the opening line will be somewhere in the neighborhood of Missouri -1.5 when it comes out Friday evening.

Previous Win Probability: 38.3%

Updated Win Probability: 44.7%

6.) vs. Tennessee
Tue, Feb 6

No. 18 Tennessee will be the toughest test of the four remaining Rupp Arena games in 2017-18. As it stands now, it is pretty close to coin flip as to which side will be victorious in the rematch of a game the Vols won, 76-65, in Knoxville earlier this season.

Previous Win Probability: 52.6%

Updated Win Probability: 53.0%

7.) vs. Alabama
Sat, Feb 17

One of the SEC’s best players, Collin Sexton, will put the Crimson Tide on his back in trying to upset Kentucky in the only meeting between Alabama and Kentucky this season. Bama freshman John Petty will also get up for that one, considering he was once a VERY strong UK lean before he eventually signed with Avery Johnson. Those two guards give Alabama a chance, but it’s still a game Kentucky should be pretty confident in winning.

Previous Win Probability: 72.2%

Update Win Probability: 75.1 %

8.) vs. Missouri
Sat, Feb 24

Missouri is the only team that Kentucky still has to play twice in the regular season. Winning one is a must; winning two would be great. There is a 33.9 percent chance UK pulls off the double-win against the Tigers.

Previous Win Probability: 69.5%

Updated Win Probability: 75.9%

9.) vs. Ole Miss
Wed, Feb 28

With the Vanderbilt game behind us, Ole Miss is the least challenging remaining opponent on the regular season schedule. It has been 20 years since Ole Miss won a game in Rupp Arena.

Previous Win Probability: 82.0%

Updated Win Probability: 83.4%

(Win Probability determined by College Basketball Power Index)

Article written by Drew Franklin

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

15 Comments for Ranking Kentucky’s Remaining Games By Difficulty (Part II)

  1. kentuckybackupplayer
    3:34 pm January 31, 2018 Permalink

    so someone thinks kentucky will lose 5 out of their last 8 regular season games, wow.

  2. bbnZach
    3:41 pm January 31, 2018 Permalink

    I expect a loss @Aub and @A&M. I see us splitting Florida.

  3. UKfanforlife
    3:42 pm January 31, 2018 Permalink

    This young team has a habit of playing to the level of its competition. They play as hard as they have to. When will they be grown up? When they put their foot on the gas and quit coasting, that is when they will be ready to quit being just a “good” team and strive to be “great”. Don’t care if they barely win the rest of the games, as long as they figure things out by tourney time.

    The inexperience factor makes me wonder if it will happen. But, they have the right man for the job to get them where they need to be. Go Cats!

  4. rockatao
    4:50 pm January 31, 2018 Permalink

    Tough road ahead. BPI predicts a 10-loss season, which translates to a 7- or 8-seed, which means we probably won’t get past the first weekend.

    • KYcats11
      5:06 pm January 31, 2018 Permalink

      BPI also said we would lose to WVU.

    • check
      5:51 pm January 31, 2018 Permalink

      Never tell me the odds.

    • robson15
      7:09 pm January 31, 2018 Permalink

      Way to be real optimistic.

    • jaws2
      7:10 pm January 31, 2018 Permalink

      I can’t think of ONE possible team in America that would want to see a 7 or 8 seed Ky team in March. No way.

  5. kentuckybackupplayer
    9:02 pm January 31, 2018 Permalink

    yeah just ask weecheetaw state

  6. henderblue
    9:32 pm January 31, 2018 Permalink

    I think we’ll win out.

  7. Cryingtheblues
    11:48 pm January 31, 2018 Permalink

    West Virginia win may not be as good as we thought. Iowa St. drilled them tonight.

    • Eazy
      6:07 pm February 1, 2018 Permalink

      Saw that. But on the flip side it makes Tennessee’s 23 point win at Iowa State look great. In turn makes our game vs UT a huge chance to move up a seed line. Also the SEC winning the challenge looks even more impressive now considering Auburn and Missouri weren’t in it and Missouri just beat Bama on the road.