How much did Kentucky’s losses to Michigan State and Gonzaga last week hurt its chances of getting a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, specifically, in Louisville? According to Joe Lunardi, a lot. In Lunardi’s latest Bracketology, Kentucky is now a No. 4 seedsdown from the top overall seed when the season began.
Houston is Lunardi’s new projected top overall seed. Texas, North Carolina, and Gonzaga are the other No. 1 seed; in fact, it’s the Bulldogs that have Kentucky’s coveted No. 1 spot in Louisville. Groan. Kentucky’s hypothetical path to Houston goes through Albany and Kansas City, with potential matchups vs. Iowa, North Carolina, and defending champion Kansas.
November Bracketology is especially meaningless. The NET rankings for this season won’t be released until next month, so we won’t really know the damage of the losses until then. For what it’s worth, Michigan State is No. 22 in the KenPom rankings and Gonzaga No. 3. The game vs. the Spartans took place at a neutral site and the game vs. Gonzaga will count as a road game for Kentucky even though it was at Spokane Arena, not The Kennel. That’s good news, as road losses hurt less than neutral-site losses. The Gonzaga loss will almost certainly stay in Quad 1. The Michigan State loss should too as long as the Spartans stay in the Top 50 of the NET.
Kentucky can add two neutral-site wins to its resume in the next month, vs. Michigan (KenPom No. 42) in London and UCLA (KenPom No. 14) in New York. Aside from that, it’s just more home games vs. lesser opponents. Of those, Louisville (KenPom No. 138) and Yale (KenPom No. 142) are the highest-ranked.