Sports

Kentucky builds strong NCAA Tournament Resume

The Wildcats defeated 3 height 25 RPI groups

LEXINGTON, Ky (WTVQ) -The Kentucky baseball crew noticed its magical run within the SEC Tournament come to an finish on Saturday. But the Cats made probably the most in their keep in Hoover, Alabama, carrying out sufficient to be in an excellent place to make the 2022 NCAA Baseball Tournament.

Kentucky (33-26) sits firmly at the bubble with Selection Monday not up to 24 hours away. But the Wildcats have a greater than compelling case for incomes a bid to the 64-team box.

It’s so simple as checking the entire containers that the NCAA Tournament committee considers. The committee likes groups that honest smartly in opposition to convention fighters, groups that fare smartly in opposition to non-conference fighters, groups that play a powerful agenda and groups which can be enjoying smartly on the finish of the season.

It starts with enjoying smartly in opposition to groups from your individual league. Kentucky, enjoying within the country’s best possible baseball convention, gained 15 video games in opposition to Southeastern Conference festival.

And Kentucky wasn’t beating up at the backside part of the league. The Cats are the one crew this season to win a chain in opposition to top-ranked Tennessee. Kentucky additionally took 3 of 4 from Auburn, a crew that used to be within the height 10 nationally within the RPI on the time it performed UK. Kentucky beat Vanderbilt, some other crew that spent a big portion of the season within the RPI height 10, on two events. And, within the SEC Tournament, the Cats beat most likely the most up to date crew within the nation, LSU.

In the non-conference portion of the agenda, Kentucky did what many groups gained’t do, scheduling a tricky opponent early within the season for a three-game, weekend collection. The first weekend in March, Kentucky confronted a TCU crew that may cross directly to win the Big 12 common season championship. And, via the best way, the Cats took two of 3 from the Horned Frogs. The Cats additionally visited Louisville, which is projected as a regional host within the 2022 NCAA Tournament.

As for taking part in smartly on the finish of the season, Kentucky emphatically tests that field. Kentucky is 7-3 in its closing 10 video games, together with 3 wins over Auburn, and unmarried wins over Vanderbilt, LSU and South Carolina. The Cats are 10-6 of their closing 16 video games, together with handing Tennessee two of its seven losses this season.

Kentucky has 12 wins in opposition to the Top 25 within the RPI this season. That’s 3rd within the country, proving that the Wildcats can compete with someone, together with the country’s highest.

The Cats have 12 losses in opposition to groups which can be both ranked or had been ranked on the time they confronted UK. That comprises losses at No. 3 Arkansas, at SEC West champion Texas A&M, in opposition to No. 1 Tennessee, No. 5 Vanderbilt, No. 7 Georgia, No. 8 TCU and at No. 13 Louisville. All of that provides as much as a No. 18 energy of agenda for the Cats.

Kentucky has finished the majority of this whilst combating key accidents all season lengthy. Cole Stupp, Kentucky’s Friday evening beginning pitcher at the start of the season, used to be misplaced for the rest of the marketing campaign after making simply six begins. Darren Williams, who used to be pitching rather well for the Cats, used to be misplaced to damage throughout his 9th look of the season.

Left-handed beginning pitcher Tyler Bosma, who no-hit LSU for 6 innings on Saturday within the SEC Tournament, ignored 3 begins throughout the SEC season. Lefty Mason Hazelwood, who bounced again effectively this 12 months after surgical operation closing season, additionally ignored a get started because of arm fatigue.

Designated hitter Oraj Anu ignored 24 video games with a couple of accidents. Center fielder John Thrasher ignored two weeks with a hand damage.

How do Kentucky’s numbers rise up in opposition to different groups at the NCAA Tournament bubble? Very favorably.

Kentucky is 33-26 total, with the ones 15 wins within the SEC. The Cats have 12 wins in opposition to the RPI Top 25, have a No. 18 energy of agenda and feature 17 wins in opposition to Power Five fighters.

Alabama and Ole Miss within the SEC also are at the bubble. Here’s how they evaluate.

Alabama is 31-27 total, with 14 wins within the SEC. The Crimson Tide has seven wins in opposition to the RPI Top 25, have a No. 3 energy of agenda and feature 14 wins in opposition to Power Five fighters.

Ole Miss is 32-22 total and has 14 wins within the SEC. The Rebels have seven wins in opposition to the RPI Top 25 and feature a No. 7 energy of agenda. Ole Miss has 15 wins in opposition to Power Five fighters.

How a few non-conference crew at the bubble? Old Dominion seems to be a type of groups. Here’s how the Monrachs stack up.

Old Dominion is 39-16 total and has 5 wins in opposition to the RPI Top 25. ODU has a No. 79 energy of agenda and has only one Power Five victory.

The Cats have fixed a late-season rally to make all of this imaginable. That, blended with the entire elements indexed above and the wounds that the Cats have triumph over to make it occur, make Kentucky an NCAA Tournament-worthy crew. The committee must award the Cats with a bid on Monday.




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