Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Kentucky is not a lock for the tournament.
Fair or unfair, when you're the defending national champion, you come with expectations.
Few observers felt it would be an easy transition year for a Kentucky Wildcats team that lost virtually all of its veteran leadership from last year.
But coach John Calipari did bring in another recruiting class loaded with stubs and entered the season as the preseason No. 3-ranked team in the nation.
However, Kentucky (21-10, 12-6 SEC) has struggled to find consistency. It suffered bad home losses to Texas A&M and Baylor and has seen itself slip to the bubble with back-to-back losses against Arkansas and Georgia.
The Georgia loss is particularly troubling, as the Bulldogs are playing at best for an invite to a lower-level postseason tournament and Kentucky was a preseason favorite to contend for a repeat.
Couple that with a 30-point blowout loss earlier in the year to Tennessee, and you have a team that is probably the most disappointing in the nation.
A win over Florida to close out the SEC regular season will likely sooth some ruffled feathers, but the Wildcats still have work to do in order to avoid punching their ticket to the NIT rather than the Big Dance.