Projecting Kentucky Wildcats' Spot in Latest College Basketball Rankings

Jason MarcumCorrespondent IIIFebruary 16, 2014

Feb 15, 2014; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Julius Randle (30) passes the ball against the Florida Gators at Rupp Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 14 Kentucky Wildcats hurt their ranking after Saturday's 69-59 loss to the No. 3 Florida Gators, but they shouldn't expect to fall too far in the updated college basketball rankings once they are released. 

Even though it was a tough loss at home for UK, not to mention their first loss of the year at Rupp Arena, Florida is clearly one of the best teams in America at 23-2 overall and 12-0 in the SEC.

Still, it could cost UK in the polls since a lot of teams ranked around them in the current polls didn't lose this week. 

Here is a recap of the teams who played this past week and are currently ranked ahead of or right behind Kentucky:

  • The No. 10 Cincinnati Bearcats beat the unranked Houston Cougars, 73-62. 
  • The No. 11 Iowa State Cyclones were embarrassed by the unranked West Virginia Mountaineers, 102-77, but rebounded to beat the Texas Tech Red Raiders on Saturday, 70-64. 
  • The No. 12 St. Louis Billikens held on at home to beat the unranked VCU Rams, 64-62. 
  • The No. 13 Louisville Cardinals beat the unranked Temple Owls, 82-58. 
  • The No. 15 Michigan Wolverines got a big win on the road against the No. 22 Ohio State Buckeyes, 70-60. 
  • The No. 16 Iowa Hawkeyes dispatched the Penn State Nittany Lions, 82-70. 

Because few teams ranked around UK lost this week, expect the Cats to tumble three to five spots in the updated college basketball polls. 

At this point in the season, a team's ranking in the polls gives us a better idea of where they will be seeded, and prior to this loss, UK was projected as a No. 3 seed in ESPN analyst Joe Lunardi''s latest bracketology

Ranked No. 14 in the AP Poll, that seemed like an accurate seeding, and with the loss to Florida, UK should be projected as a No. 4 or even No. 5 seed when the latest bracketology updates come out. 

There is still is a lot of basketball left to be played this year, and now the Cats will have three straight games against teams on the NCAA tournament bubble. 

According to ESPN's RPI metrics, the Ole Miss Rebels (68), Arkansas Razorbacks (69) and LSU Tigers (71) all rank rank among the top 75 teams in terms of RPI. 

It doesn't help UK that both LSU and Arkansas defeated them earlier in conference play, so they'll come into Rupp Arena with the confidence they can hang with the Cats. 

With just three weeks left in the college basketball regular season, the Cats must improve significantly and avoid any bad losses if they want to climb the rankings and get a good seed in the NCAA Tournament. 


Jason Marcum is a student in the B/R advanced sports media program. You can find more of his work at Stripe Hype and follow him on Twitter @UK_Fans