Even with the win against Alabama, UK still sits in just a tie for 7th in the SEC. If the Cats finish in 7th that will mean they will be playing on Thursday at the SEC Tournament for the first time in the John Calipari era. But the Cats are also just 1-game out of the Top 4 as well, which would earn them a double bye and a Friday game. With every team in the league with 4 games remaining it is going to be a real race to the finish to see who will get those double bye spots. Auburn has a one of the spots nearly locked up with a 2-game lead over everybody.
Current Standings (Auburn at 11-3 is almost certainly a lock)
8-6: Arkansas, Missouri, Alabama, Florida
7-7: Mississippi State, Kentucky
6-8: Texas A&M, Georgia, LSU
So what would it take for Kentucky to get that double bye? Here are 2 scenarios and what the standings would look like if these played out
If only home teams won (Hint: Nothing Changes, Every team has 2 road games and 2 home games remaining)
10-8: Florida, Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri
9-9: Kentucky, Mississippi State
8-10: LSU, Texas A&M, Georgia
If Teams Currently Ahead in Standings Won (Indicating Who Has Tougher Schedules Remaining)
10-8: Mississippi State
9-9: Florida, Georgia, Arkansas
8-10: Kentucky, LSU
7-11: Texas A&M
In both of those cases, a minimum of 10-8 will be required to earn a double bye. At 7-7 right now, that means Kentucky will need a 3-1 finish to the year to even have a chance. Assuming the 2 games at home are wins (certainly not a guarantee), then UK will HAVE to find a way to beat either Arkansas tonight or Florida on the final day of the regular season to get it done.
I think beating Arkansas tonight would be the better scenario because that win would give UK tiebreakers over the Hogs, Alabama, and Mississippi State, plus a split with Missouri. But no matter what, the road is quite difficult for the Cats as their remaining schedule is as tough as anybody on that list above. Hopefully they can build off this weekend but we should probably be prepared for needing a 4-game streak to win the SEC Tournament this year.