A look at the rest of Kentucky’s season


PJ Washington. The University of Kentucky men’s basketball falls to Auburn 76-66 at the Auburn Arena on Wednesday, February 14th, 2018 in Auburn, Alabama. Photo by Quinn Foster I UK Athletics

The state of the Kentucky basketball team is not good right now, as they Cats are currently on a four-game winning streak after Wednesday night’s loss to Auburn.

Recap: UK falters late to drop fourth straight game

The Cats had good stretches at Auburn to give fans hope that a turnaround was possible, but the second consecutive double-digit loss was enough to make people feel the same way they did back in November when John Calipari said this team has a ways to go.

The loss to Auburn dropped Kentucky’s conference record to below .500 for the first time since 1989 after 13 games of conference play. UK has five games remaining on the regular season schedule before starting postseason, and the finishing stretch will be a tough one.

Read: Just how bad are the Cats struggling?

The Cats will attempt to turn their season around by first hosting Alabama, who has the same record as Kentucky but is two games ahead of them in SEC play. Alabama has won three of their last four games by at least 15 points, with the only loss being a four-point road loss to Mississippi State.

After the home game against Alabama, three of Kentucky’s final four games are against teams ranked in the top 50 of the NCAA RPI. The Cats are 4-7 against such teams this season, with their last top 50 RPI win coming against West Virginia.

Two of those games are on the road, and the Cats haven’t won an SEC road game since Jan. 13 against Vanderbilt, who is near the bottom of the SEC standings.

UK’s only game not against a top 50 RPI team is a home game against Ole Miss, who is currently on a six-game losing streak since starting off the season 11-9. 

The finishing stretch is a brutal one for the Cats, giving them not much room for error as they’re still trying to figure themselves out this late in the season. Ken Pomeroy’s analytics projects Kentucky’s finishing record to be 20-11, 9-9 in SEC play. 

If Pomeroy’s prediction holds true, and UK doesn’t win the SEC Tournament, that would give the Cats 12 losses, which is more than the 2013 NIT team had.

Last season, only three teams with 12 losses made the NCAA Tournament without winning their conference tournament. All three were double-digit seeds, and none advanced past the first round.

The Cats are facing an uphill battle toward accomplishing their postseason goals, and based on what we’ve seen so far, there’s no real reason to believe that they could accomplish any of them. It would take one of the biggest turnarounds in the John Calipari era to make this team a threat during March.