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Home » Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology Has Kentucky on Bubble’s Right Side

Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology Has Kentucky on Bubble’s Right Side

17 February 2023, Friday
The Kentucky Wildcats achieved a major victory against Mississippi State in Starkville on Wednesday evening, making the contest a must-win for both teams in terms of the NCAA Tournament picture.

Thanks to the victory, the Wildcats have launched themselves into the 'Last Four In' category as predicted by ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, setting up a huge showdown with the Tennessee Volunteers this Saturday.

With five games left for the UK, they have many choices to strengthen their tournament resume. Beginning this weekend, they'll host a top-10 Tennessee squad in Rupp Arena. Additionally, they will play at Florida and Arkansas, and will receive the Auburn Tigers at home in Lexington. With that, John Calipari’s team has the advantage to decide their own fate. If they attain a 3-2 mark over the final five matches, it is likely for them to enter the tournament. Nonetheless, in the case of a 2-3 record, matters become more complicated. Anything below will probably mean that the Wildcats will not be participating in the competition, due to the possibility of several at-large teams, such as them, getting eliminated.

The Wildcats require a solid conclusion to the regular season in order to make the NCAA Tournament field. Unfortunately, being among the last teams considered in these kinds of projections is a sign that they may not qualify once some of the conference tournament upsets occur, which happens yearly. In other words, for a chance at dancing in March, Kentucky ought to have a spot in the 'Last Four Byes' range or better. 

However, the Wildcats should be focused on the task at a hand, not overlooking any contenders. Following their win over No. 1 Alabama, Tennessee will make its way to Rupp Arena with hopes of retaliating for their earlier loss. Now is the time for Kentucky to power through the remainder of their season and make an audacious effort for the NCAA Tournament.
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