Kentucky men’s basketball is still on the bubble of the NCAA Tournament field, but the program continues to trend in the right direction.
Riding a three-game winning streak into Tuesday night’s game against Vanderbilt in Nashville, the Wildcats are back in the projected field of 68, according to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi. Kentucky is now among the “Last Four In” group of teams for the 2023 NCAA Tournament, which also includes Arizona State, Northwestern, and Penn State. Prior to the Wildcats’ win over Texas A&M on Saturday, UK was on the outside looking in as Lunardi’s first team out of the tournament, but another win has them back in good standing.
Lunardi indicates that Kentucky would drop out of the projected field entirely with a loss to Vanderbilt on Tuesday night.
Looking at Lunardi’s 68-team bracket, if the season were to end today, he would expect Kentucky to take on Penn State in the First Four play-in round, which is set to take place from March 14-15 up in Dayton, OH. The ‘Cats and Nittany Lions would face off as 12-seeds with the winner taking on five-seed UConn in the first round of the Midwest Region. That matchup would take place in Orlando, FL.
Elsewhere, other Bracketology outlets such as TeamRankings.com currently project Kentucky as a 9-seed with a 65 percent chance of earning an at-large bid. The minds over at BartTorvik also see UK earning a 9-seed, but with just a 36.7 percent chance to make the tournament.
Kentucky will face Vanderbilt at 9:00 p.m. EST on the SEC Network. Just keep on winning, ‘Cats.