Kentucky Basketball
(Matt Stamey/USA TODAY Sports)

It’s been a rough season for Kentucky Basketball to say the least. The Wildcats are currently 4-4 in the SEC and 5-10 overall. Although there are nine games left in their season, they have effectively played their way out of qualification for the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

Kentucky Basketball Remaining Schedule

The Wildcats are seventh in the SEC, and five of their nine remaining games are against teams with better conference records. This stretch also includes three games against ranked teams. With a 1-6 nonconference record and and 0-4 record against ranked teams, Kentucky’s resume is extremely weak. Their best win is an 18-point road win against unranked Florida. As a 5-10 team, that isn’t nearly enough to get an at-large tournament bid.

Due to a COVID-19 pause within their program, the Wildcats won’t get the opportunity to face No. 6 Texas in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. Winning that matchup would have been a huge resume-builder. The prospect of a top-10 win was probably the only slim chance Kentucky had left to get an at-large tournament bid, so now their chances are virtually non-existent.

What About the SEC Tournament?

Head coach John Calipari thinks the Wildcats don’t have to win the SEC Tournament to qualify for the 2021 tournament field. But if we’re being honest, that really is the only way they’re getting in. Sorry Coach Cal. I’m all for the spin zone, but there’s zero chance you’re winning out against the likes of No. 12 Missouri, No. 18 Tennessee (twice), Auburn (with Sharife Cooper), and Arkansas.

That leaves the SEC Tournament, and it’s beyond the pale that Kentucky Basketball is not the best team in the SEC this year. Their lone shot at the 2021 NCAA Tournament is an improbable run in the conference tournament, which would require them to beat a lot of teams that are better than they are.

Kentucky is 5-10. Calipari is trying to cash in the historical success of the program to make it seem like they can flip the switch and turn it around. Top recruit Brandon Boston Jr. has struggled and the Wildcats aren’t going to suddenly get better. Their 2020-21 season is effectively over.

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