So, here we are Big Blue Nation… we are at a time when I am confident nobody thought we would ever see. A healthy Coach Cal team spiraling toward a bubble discussion. The 2013 team that went to the NIT was only after losing Nerlens Noel (the best player on the team) on a very shallow team at that.

The simple truth is there is absolutely no excuse for this team to be where they are right now. There is too much talent for this team to be this far behind the curve. I know they are all freshman, I get that. However, at this point of the season, they are no longer freshmen… at least they should not be.

Having said all of that, Kentucky is at a point where they are looking at a 7-seed (according to current bracketology). This may seem as though they are a pretty strong fit for the big dance, well, they are for now. However, the road ahead is brutal.

I wanted to look at the remaining games and see where Kentucky is likely to finish.

According to Team Rankings.com, Kentucky is projected to go 3-3 down the stretch. If that were to happen, it would put UK at 20-11 (9-9 in the SEC) on the season. This would put Kentucky squarely in the 8-seed to 11-seed area, in my opinion. That is bubble territory folks.

As a refresher, the 2013 team that went to the NIT was 21-10 (12-6 in the SEC). The saving grace for UK this season could be that the SEC one of the top basketball conferences in America. However, selection sunday could be wild depending on conference tournaments.

Truthfully, Kentucky needs to go 4-2 down the stretch to avoid bubble talk. This means they need to win the 3 games at home and likely the at Arkansas game. I have fully resigned to the idea that UK is not winning at Auburn or at Florida.

Here is the scary part, and it is possible. What if UK goes 2-4… or 1-5 down the stretch? This is scarily possible too. Kentucky could easily lose all three road games remaining (Florida, Arkansas, Auburn). They have already lost to Missouri once (and Michael Porter Jr could be back), Alabama has a backcourt that is likely going to have a field day on UK, and only the Ole Miss game looks like a game you can point to as probably going to win.

I will be honest, I cannot see ANY POSSIBLE scenario where an 18-13 (7-11) team goes dancing. I highly doubt a 19-12 (8-10) team goes either. It seems clear to me that this team absolutely must go 3-3 down the stretch or better to have a chance to go dancing.

If Cal were to miss the tournament with a healthy team full of 5-star burger boys, it would be a HUGE black eye.

WILDCATS BANTER

  • Here is a great article about returning All-American Tristan Pompey and his preparation for the 2018 baseball season.
  • On that note, the top-10 Kentucky Baseball team is about to play their first game, they have unveiled all of their uniform tops for this season and they are awesome.

  • The UK softball team put a whipping on New Mexico St to round out the series with a win, 10-2.

  • The women of the hardwood took one on the chin this weekend as the #3 Mississippi State Bulldogs beat them 74-55

  • The Kentucky track and field team had a great Saturday with a few individual honorees. Sydney McLaughlin set the fastest time ever for a UK freshman and the 2nd fastest time in the nation in the 200m this year.
  • In case you missed it, Kentucky track and field has two ladies on the mid-season indoor track Bowerman watch list. Olympian Sydney McLaughlin and Olivia Gruver.

  • Kentucky Football has released it’s annual ‘pocket pass’ offer for this Football season. You can attend all 7 home games for less than $30 per game.

  • The #3 UK rifle team traveled to #1 West Virginia and fought valiantly, but came up just short on the win. The next stop is the postseason.

 

Images courtesy of Johnathan Bachman - Getty Images and Team Rankings