In the third stretch drive breakdown post we’ll look at the University of Kentucky. The Cats’ postseason chances appeared to be running on fumes before a series victory against No. 8 South Carolina last weekend put UK back on the tournament bubble. Midweek losses to Indiana and Lipscomb took away some of the Cats’ momentum, but UK still has a shot with a strong finish to the conference slate. UK is 10th in the Southeastern Conference, one game behind Alabama for ninth and two back of Tennessee for the eighth and the final SEC tournament berth.
The good news is UK welcomes seventh-place LSU to town this weekend. The Tigers are three games ahead of UK, and a Cats’ series sweep would put them squarely back in the SEC tournament picture. A series victory would also keep the Cats at least in the tournament race. UK travels to last-place Georgia in the final series of the season. If the Cats drop that series they can kiss their postseason hopes goodbye.
The SEC is likely to get at least eight bids to the NCAA tournament. With its No. 29 RPI, UK would likely earn an at-large bid if it reaches the SEC tournament. Some national pundits have projected the SEC could get nine bids, but UK would probably need series sweeps in each of the last two weeks to get that ninth spot if it doesn’t qualify for the conference tournament.
(You can see the Rivals.com field of 64 projection here and the Baseball Americastock report here.)