Kentucky Blog - College

Kentucky is backed into a corner after a loss at Georgia.

The Wildcats, already on the cutline of the NCAA tournament, now face daunting prospects for getting in. All that's left is a home game against Florida and the SEC tournament, and it will likely take a deep run in the conference championship to end up on the right side of the bubble.

Heading into the final game, UK is tied at No. 2 in the SEC standings with Missouri, Ole Miss and Alabama. That leaves a complicated system of possibilities depending on how each of their final games -- Ole Miss plays at LSU (1 p.m.), Missouri plays at Tennessee (4 p.m.), Alabama plays Georgia (4 p.m.) -- plays out.

So let's look at what's left for UK. They can either win or lose against Florida; each of those options produces the following eight separate scenarios.*

IF KENTUCKY BEATS FLORIDA, six of eight possibilities lead to a No. 2 seed and two lead to a No. 3 seed.

-- If only Missouri wins, UK gets the No. 2 seed.

-- If only Ole Miss wins, UK gets the No. 2 seed.

-- If only Alabama wins, UK gets the No. 3 seed.

-- If Missouri and Ole Miss win, UK gets the No. 2 seed.

-- If Missouri and Alabama win, UK gets the No. 3 seed.

-- If Ole Miss and Alabama win, UK gets the No. 2 seed.

-- If all three wins, UK gets the No. 2 seed.

-- If all three loses, UK gets the No. 2 seed.

IF KENTUCKY LOSES TO FLORIDA, three possibilities lead to a No. 3 seed, one leads to a No. 4, and four lead to a No. 5 seed.

-- If only Missouri wins, UK gets the No. 3 seed.

-- If only Ole Miss wins, UK gets the No. 5 seed.

-- If only Alabama wins, UK gets the No. 3 seed.

-- If Missouri and Ole Miss win, UK gets the No. 5 seed.

-- If Missouri and Alabama win, UK gets the No. 4 seed.

-- If Ole Miss and Alabama win, UK gets the No. 5 seed.

-- If all three win, UK gets the No. 5 seed.

-- If all three lose, UK gets the No. 3 seed.

So, in total, of 16 options, six lead to a No. 2 seed, five lead to a No. 3 seed, one leads to a No. 4, and four lead to a No. 5 seed.

To make that deep run, it would likely be best for UK to get a 2/3 seed to avoid Florida until the final game (if UK can get there, which is far from certain and maybe even far from likely at this point). And being a 5 seed may not be too detrimental; any wins UK can get at this point are good. While it's one more UK has to win, given their standing and the fact that winning the automatic bid might be necessary, it might not matter.

*Tiebreaker rules are complicated, but here's how they work: in a two-team tie, head-to-head record is used. In a multiple-team tie, overall record against the other tied teams are used. If that doesn't break the tie, record against the No. 1 seed (Florida) is used, and if that doesn't break the tie, record against the next-highest seed is used, and on down the line.

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