For the first time, the NCAA Tournament selection committee last month revealed the tentative top 16 seeds in the competition a few weeks before the actual Selection Show — providing teams and fans with a snapshot of where things stood going into the final stretch of the season.
That show, which aired on Feb. 11, had Kentucky placed as a 3 seed and the No. 12 overall team in the NCAA Tournament.
The Wildcats are the only one of the 16 teams mentioned that day that have gone undefeated since the early bracket reveal.
UK is 10-0 since the “Bracket Preview” show with RPI Top 50 victories over Florida, Vanderbilt and Arkansas, the latter win clinching another SEC Tournament title for the Wildcats.
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Five of the teams placed ahead of Kentucky on the Feb. 11 show have lost at least three games since that day: No. 3 Baylor (4-4), No. 6 Florida State (4-4), No. 7 Louisville (5-3), No. 10 Virginia (4-5) and No. 11 Florida (5-3).
Only two teams that were ahead of UK on Feb. 11 have more RPI Top 50 wins since: Villanova (8-1 with five such victories) and North Carolina (6-2 with four such wins).
The only team placed behind UK on Feb. 11 with more than three RPI Top 50 wins since then is Duke, which has an 8-3 record since the preview show but has beaten six RPI Top 50 teams in that span: Virginia, Wake Forest and Florida State in the regular season, and Louisville, North Carolina and Notre Dame to close out a run to the ACC Tournament championship. The Blue Devils’ three losses since Feb. 11 have come against Miami, North Carolina and Syracuse.
Considering the Feb. 11 placement and UK’s record since, it’s hard to see the Wildcats getting anything worse than a 2 seed Sunday evening. Both ESPN and CBS bracketology projections have the Cats as a 2 seed in the Memphis region, starting their NCAA Tournament later this week in Indianapolis. The NCAA Selection Show will start at 5:30 p.m. on CBS.
Here’s a full look at the Feb. 11 seeds, along with each team’s record and notable wins and losses since that day’s “Bracket Preview” show:
Results since NCAA ‘Bracket Preview’ show on Feb. 11
RPI Top 50 wins
Xavier, Creighton (twice), Seton Hall (twice)
Baylor, West Virginia, Oklahoma State
Kansas, Iowa State, Kansas St., Texas Tech
St. Mary’s (twice)
Duke, Louisville, Virginia, Miami
Miami, Virginia Tech
Duke, Notre Dame (twice), Pittsburgh
Notre Dame, Miami, Virginia Tech
UNC, Duke, Wake Forest
UCLA, Oregon, Southern Cal
UNC, Duke, Notre Dame, Miami, Va Tech
Arkansas, South Carolina
Kentucky, Vanderbilt (twice)
Florida, Arkansas, Vanderbilt
Xavier, Seton Hall, Providence
Kansas, Baylor, Iowa State
Arizona, Southern Cal (twice)
UNC, U of L, Notre Dame, FSU, Wake, Virginia
North Carolina, Miami, Syracuse