Sidelines with John Clay

Loss to LSU did not hurt Kentucky in basketball computer rankings

As gut-wrenching as Kentucky’s last-second 73-71 loss to LSU was on Tuesday night, the controversial defeat did not hurt the Cats much in the rankings.

UK dropped from fifth to sixth in the latest NCAA NET rankings. Meanwhile, LSU moved up three spots in the rankings from No. 17 to No. 14.

With its comeback 71-69 win at Louisville, Duke remains No. 1 followed by Gonzaga, Virginia, Tennessee and Houston. Michigan State is at No. 7, followed by Michigan, North Carolina and Texas Tech.

Kentucky actually moved up a spot from No. 8 to No. 7 in Ken Pomeroy’s overall efficiency rankings. After allowing LSU to average 1.115 points per possession, the Cats did drop from No. 8 to No. 9 in adjusted defensive efficiency. Kentucky is No. 18 in adjusted offensive efficiency.

Here are kenpom’s top 10 defensive teams through Tuesday’s games:

  1. Texas Tech 0.841
  2. Michigan 0.858
  3. Virginia 0.863
  4. Duke 0.873
  5. VCU 0.876
  6. Wisconsin 0.881
  7. Kansas State 0.884
  8. Michigan State 0.895
  9. Kentucky 0.896
  10. Florida 0.907

LSU is at No. 20 in the kenpom rankings. The Tigers jumped from 16th to 13th in adjusted offensive efficiency. The Tigers are 46th in adjusted defensive efficiency.

Kentucky is ranked seventh in Jeff Sagarin’s computer rankings. The Cats are now 4-2 against Top 25 Sagarin teams and 7-3 against Top 50 Sagarin teams. UK’s strength of schedule is ranked 24th by Sagarin.

LSU is ranked 23rd by Sagarin with a 2-2 record against Top 25 teams and a 6-2 mark against Top 50 teams. The Tigers’ strength of schedule is ranked 39th by Sagarin.

As for the SEC race, Tennessee leads the league with a 10-0 mark heading into Wednesday night’s game against South Carolina. That’s a 6:30 p.m. start on the SEC Network. LSU is now 10-1. Kentucky is 9-2.

Here is a look at the remaining schedules for the three teams:

Tennessee (10-0)

  • Feb. 13 South Carolina
  • Feb. 16 At Kentucky
  • Feb. 19 Vanderbilt
  • Feb. 23 At LSU
  • Feb. 27 At Ole Miss
  • March 2 Kentucky
  • March 5 Miss State
  • March 9 At Auburn



LSU

  • Feb. 16 At Georgia
  • Feb. 20 Florida
  • Feb. 23 Tennessee
  • Feb. 26 Texas A&M
  • March 2 At Alabama
  • March 6 At Florida
  • March 9 Vanderbilt



Kentucky

  • Feb. 16 Tennessee
  • Feb. 19 At Missouri
  • Feb. 23 Auburn
  • Feb. 26 Arkansas
  • March 2 @Tennessee
  • March 5 @Ole Miss
  • March 9 Florida



SEC standings heading into Wednesday’s games

  • Tennessee 10-0
  • LSU 10-1
  • Kentucky 9-2
  • South Carolina 7-3
  • Ole Miss 6-4
  • Alabama 6-5
  • Arkansas 5-6
  • Miss State 5-6
  • Auburn 5-5
  • Florida 4-6
  • Missouri 3-8
  • Texas A&M 3-8
  • Georgia 1-10
  • Vanderbilt 0-10



Wednesday night’s SEC games

  • 6:30 - South Carolina at Tennessee (SEC)
  • 8:30 - Ole Miss at Auburn (SEC)
  • 9:00 - Vanderbilt at Florida (ESPNU)



Saturday’s SEC games

  • 12:00 - Auburn at Vanderbilt (ESPNU)
  • 1:00 - Texas A&M at South Carolina (SEC)
  • 2:00 - Florida at Alabama (ESPNU)
  • 3:30 - Missouri at Ole Miss (SEC)
  • 6:00 - LSU at Georgia (SEC)
  • 8:00 - Tennessee at Kentucky (ESPN)
  • 8:30 - Miss State at Arkansas (SEC)



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John Clay is a sports columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader. A native of Central Kentucky, he covered UK football from 1987 until being named sports columnist in 2000. He has covered 20 Final Fours and 37 consecutive Kentucky Derbys.
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