Kentucky a Bubble Team on Paper

Photo: @derekpoore

The Kentucky Wildcats haven’t had a win this season yet that makes anyone think they will be deserving of a high seed when March Madness rolls around.

The SEC sure isn’t going to bolster the RPI with all the terrible losses fellow conference team’s have taken in recent weeks.

Pat Forde of looks at how Kentucky looked like a potential Final 4 team at times in the loss to Louisville, but not having any signature wins won’t help their tournament seeding.

When put to the eyeball test Saturday, the Kentucky Wildcats looked for some stretches of the game like a top-10 team – maybe even a potential Final Four team.

Ryan Harrow and the Wildcats hope to have more to shout about later in the season. (Getty Images)
But when you look at the Wildcats on paper, you see an NCAA-tournament bubble team.

Do I expect Kentucky to make the field of 68? Absolutely. The team that rallied from 17 points down and only lost by three at Louisville has more talent than almost anyone in America, and the upside remains significant as the young parts mature and coalesce.

But here is the flip side: The Cats have deposited precious little in the Quality Win Bank in 2012, and the 2013 portion of the schedule doesn’t offer many opportunities to change that. The defending national champions may have to rely on that December eyeball test – and Kentucky’s brand name – to avoid sweating out a bubble scenario.

Kentucky currently is 8-4 overall, with a 1-3 record away from the friendly confines of Rupp Arena. That translates to a sketchy RPI of No. 52, behind the likes of Western Michigan, Stephen F. Austin, LaSalle, Canisius and McNeese State. Other computers like the Cats more – they’re No. 12 with efficiency guru Ken Pomeroy and No. 31 with Jeff Sagarin – but this is not a team that has distinguished itself in non-conference play.

You can read how poor the SEC has been and how it won’t help the Wildcats chances of being a high seed come tournament time.

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