Big Blue Nation in Nashville

BBNashville is All Systems Go

What a way to close out the season this past weekend! The Cats pulled through despite coming off an upset-loss at home to Vandy, without a PG to play, and going into one of the toughest environments in all of college basketball against a star-studded team. Not only did the Cats come through but they pulled out one of the most impressive victories of the entire Cal-era. And how about Tones??? His 37 points are the most scored by any player in an away game under Cal. It’s no secret why he recently received SEC 6-Man of the Year!

Now, it’s tournament time. The stage is set for a month of win-or-go-home action. First up is the SEC Tournament down in Nashville – a place that Kentucky fans have come to flood and completely take over this time of year.

Here is the final official bracket for the tournament this week:

The Cats could not have asked for a more perfect draw. Game one is between three teams that we have already beaten this season – with a combined record against them of 3-2 – and if we make the semis,  we will play one of three teams that we have also already beaten this year. Against those three, we have a combined record of 3-1. Returning to the SEC Championship (where we have not been since 2018) is a serious possibility. Kentucky is the king of the SEC in terms of titles – our 32 All-Time Conference Tournament Championships are more than every other SEC school COMBINED. The team is going for their seventh of the Cal-era.

Now, in terms of NCAA Tournament seeding, the Cats are between a 7 and 5 seed-line currently. If we go with the most likely scenario of who our opponents in the SEC Tournament will be – then we can expect to play Vanderbilt on Friday, Texas A&M on Saturday, and Alabama on Sunday. A neutral site win against Vandy would be Q2 and against A&M would be Q1 – bringing our overall Quadrant Records to:

Q1: 7-7

Q2: 7-0

Q3: 3-2

Q4: 6-1

It’s also important to note that Auburn currently sits at 32nd in the NET, and Michigan sits at 54th – movement from AU into the top 30 and UM into the top 50 would give us TWO extra Q1 wins and have us above .500. This would certainly push us up to a 5-seed. A win against Alabama in the SEC Tournament Championship would easily be our best win of the season and give us serious momentum heading into the NCAA. However, it would not impact seeding (as we’ve grown accustomed to as UK Fans). The reality is the SEC Tournament Championship game concludes at around 3:30 PM Sunday, and the bracket is unveiled a little over two hours later.  The field is pretty much entirely set by that point and the committee is only waiting for at-large-bids.

The stage is set for Kentucky to have a deep run in the SEC and NCAA. Kentucky Basketball is back and better than ever. There’s a feeling in the Bluegrass Air that this could potentially be a March to remember! 

See y’all on Broadway! Go Big Blue!