After a loss to the Vanderbilt Commodores–which is definitely a bad one–many people are writing off the Kentucky Wildcats and saying that they do not belong in the NCAA tournament. Well, their resume isn’t all that bad.
The problem with Kentucky making the dance is everyone is comparing them to last year’s team and Nerlens Noel, who was the best player on this team, had a season-ending injury. The Wildcats are still a great team and got their two biggest wins of the season without Noel, by beating Florida and Missouri.
There is not much you can say about the Wildcats’ out-of-conference schedule, other than the fact that they competed in every one of those games except for one, despite losing four and they still got a W against Maryland.
In conference play, Kentucky finished tied for second in the SEC standings, which should count for something. This team also beat Tennessee, LSU and Ole Miss. However, Kentucky did lose three out of four games down the stretch, which is crucial when talking about a bubble team making the dance.
The Wildcats have plenty of talent on their team and they did pretty good this season, considering that most of the team consisted of freshmen. If this was any other team in college basketball, would that change things? Most likely, yes.
Well, with their most recent loss and early exit in the SEC tournament, the Wildcats will likely have to settle for the NIT, despite having a pretty good resume. Maybe next year, John Calipari.