There is just one weekend of the regular season left, and several Kentucky team’s face big postseason questions entering their final contests. Last week we ran down the stretch drive prospects for each team, but now I’ll give a brief update on those posts in one item.
- No. 11 University of Louisville looked to have taken a step back with a series opening loss to St. Johns last week, but salvaged wins in the final two games of the series to stay within one game of UCONN for first place in the Big East Conference. The Cards travel to eighth-place Notre Dame, while UCONN hosts 11th-place Seton Hall in the final weekend. UofL has the tougher series and will likely a series win and a UCONN series loss to tie the Huskies and two more wins than UCONN on the weekend to win the regular season championship outright. Either way, the Cards look in good shape for one of the eight national seeds in the NCAA tournament.
- The University of Kentucky did exactly what it need to last week with a series sweep of LSU. Now UK is tied with Tennessee, LSU and Alabama for seventh in the Southeastern Conference and controls its own destiny. A series win at last-place Georgia likely puts the Cats in the SEC and NCAA tournament, but a sweep would guarantee a bid. Tennessee and Alabama square off against each other, so the series loser will be out of the tournament race. LSU hosts next-to-last Mississippi St., and a Tigers’ sweep would put added pressure on UK.
- Western Kentucky University likely saw its at-large NCAA tournament bid hopes slip away with a series loss at Louisiana-Lafayette last weekend. The Hilltoppers are currently tied for seventh in the Sun Belt Conference, which is simply not good enough for an at-large bid regardless of their strong RPI. WKU needs to win the Sun Belt tournament to earn the conference’s automatic bid to qualify for the field of 64 at this point.
- The Ohio Valley Conference postseason picture became more muddled last weekend with several rainouts and a tie between Murray State University and Morehead State University. Only the OVC tournament champion will make the NCAA tournament, and the Breds currently sit a half-game in front of Tennessee Tech for the regular season title. Murray St. and Tennessee Tech. square off this weekend in a three-game series to determine the regular season champion. The top six regular-season teams will qualify for the conference tournament, and Eastern Kentucky University currently holds the sixth position but has already concluded its conference schedule. Morehead State University is in seventh and could take EKU’s tournament bid with a series win against fourth-place Jacksonville St. UT Martin is in eight, just percentage points behind Morehead as the Eagles have played fewer games due to weather, and could knock both Kentucky teams out of the conference tournament with a series win against last-place Austin Peay. EKU still has a series against SIU Edwardsville to play, but it will not affect the standings.