Where Kentucky stands ahead of Selection Sunday


Tennessee Volunteers guard Zakai Zeigler (5) reaches for loose ball during the UK vs. Tennessee SEC Tournament semifinal mens basketball game on Saturday, March 12, 2022, at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. UK lost 69-62. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Hunter Shelton

TAMPA, Fla.—Selection Sunday has arrived. 

What is an exciting day for some but a nerve-wracking day for others, college basketball fans will gather round the television at 6 p.m. EST to see the fates of their favorite teams unfold. 

For Big Blue Nation, Selection Sunday is normally a time to celebrate and prep for the NCAA Tournament, as the Wildcats usually finish playing in the SEC Championship just a few hours before the bracket is released. 

That isn’t the case for Kentucky this season, as the Cats were bounced in the semifinals by rival Tennessee, losing 69-62 in a not-so heroic defeat, leaving a sour taste in the mouths of BBN. 

Even still, UK’s seeding seems to be in a pretty concrete position ahead of the bracket reveal. 

As of the morning of Selection Sunday, Joe Lunardi, ESPN’s resident bracketologist and college basketball guru, has Kentucky projected as the top No. 2 seed in the tournament, playing in the Midwest region. 

Lunardi gave the Cats an ultimatum on Saturday, stating that if they defeated Tennessee, they were likely to jump up to the No. 1 seed line, knocking down the Baylor Bears to the two. 

After a 34-percent shooting performance, making two of 20 3-point attempts, it feels safe to say that UK’s hopes for one of the top four seeds are flushed away. 

It’s important to remember that while Lunardi is the best in the business at what he does, his word isn’t gospel and the bracket on Sunday night could look different than what he has slated. 

Some more shakeups are possible on Sunday, as five championship games are still yet to be played. 

If Texas A&M can run the gauntlet and take down Tennessee in the SEC Championship, its seeding will improve. A win for the Volunteers, and they may also see a No. 2 seed next to their name. 

Purdue and Iowa will do battle in the Big Ten Championship, with a win meaning much more for the Hawkeyes than the Boilermakers.

The lone bid-stealer left alive is the Richmond Spiders, who will look to crawl into the big dance with a win over Davidson in the Atlantic-10 Championship. 

Plenty of things could happen before the bracket reveal, though it seems set it stone where the Cats will land come 6 p.m.