Kentucky 40-0? (02/16/15)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
Can Kentucky go 40-0?



The Wildcats are 25-0, which ties the best start in school history (1953-54). The regular season is coming to an end and March Madness is just around the corner. What's the chance that Kentucky goes undefeated?

Using the Predictalator, we simulated the remainder of the regular season, the SEC Tournament and the NCAA Tournament 50,000 times to see if 40-0 is a possibility.

The Regular Season

Kentucky has six regular season games left. The first three come against teams ranked 79th or worst in our Power Rankings. The final three are against stiffer competition, vs. Arkansas, at Georgia, and vs. Florida, teams that rank 30th, 29th and 33rd respectively.

Regardless of the opposition, Kentucky, the only team in college basketball to rank in the top ten in both offensive and defensive efficiency, easily dispatches its SEC contemporaries. The Cats are greater than 80% likely to win each of its regular season games.

John Calipari's team is 55% likely to finish the regular season undefeated.

Game Kentucky Win%
@ Tennessee 88.5%
vs. Auburn 97.3%
@ Mississippi State 92.4%
vs. Arkansas 93.3%
@ Georgia 80.5%
vs. Florida 92.3%

The SEC Tournament

Kentucky will earn the number one seed in the conference tournament guaranteeing a double-bye into the quarterfinals. The Wildcats will need to win three games to capture its first SEC Championship since 2011.

Based on current conference standings and our simulations, Kentucky is most likely to face Florida, Ole Miss and Arkansas. The Cats are projected to win each matchup by double-digits.

Kentucky is 68% likely to win the SEC Tournament. The chance the Wildcats are undefeated heading into the NCAA Tournament is 37%.

Game Kentucky Win%
Florida in Quarterfinals 88.7%
Ole Miss in Semifinals 84.3%
Arkansas in Championship 86.1%

The NCAA Tournament

There have been eighteen teams that entered the NCAA Tournament undefeated (Wichita State did it last year), seven won it all. The last team to accomplish that feat was Indiana in 1976.

Using Joe Lunardi's Bracketology, we simulated what the NCAA Tournament could look like 50,000 times. Kentucky is a big favorite to win it all. The Wildcats are 83% likely to reach the Sweet 16, 54% likely to make the Final Four and 28% likely to win it all.

With a 55% chance to finish the regular season undefeated, a 68% chance to win the SEC Tournament and a 28% chance to win the NCAA Tournament, Kentucky has a 10% chance to finish the season a perfect 40-0.