Kentucky Wildcats Basketball

  • The Kentucky Wildcats have +500 odds to win the 2022 NCAA tournament.
  • The Wildcats are a projected three seed for the tournament.

LEXINGTON Ky. – The Kentucky Wildcats entered the 2022 season with +1800 odds to win the NCAA tournament before entering the conference tournaments at +500.

With a record of 25-6, the Wildcats check a majority of the boxes that points toward winning the NCAA championship. Before the SEC tournament started, the Wildcats moved up to a projected three seed for the NCAA tournament.

Multiple Upperclassmen With High Minutes

A total of 10 of the 16 players on the Wildcats roster are either junior or seniors. The experienced roster has only three freshmen and three sophomores.

Over the past 12 NCAA tournaments, the winner of the tournament had multiple upperclassmen who contributed significantly to the team’s success.

Oscar Tshiebwe, Keion Brooks Jr., and Kellan Grady are all upperclassmen and are the only three players that averaged 30 or more minutes per game during the course of the regular season.

A Teams Advantage With An Experienced Head Coach

John Calipari has been the head coach of the Wildcats since 2009 and has over 400 total wins with the team. He has a win percentage of .786 at Kentucky and has been a head coach in college basketball since 1988 (26 years).

The last 12 national titles have involved nine different head coaches and at least eight of those head coaches had the type of reputation at that point in their career that projected Hall of Fame resumes.

John Calipari is no different and was one of those eight head coaches who had won the national title. His championship run with Kentucky took place in 2012.

The Significance Of A Guard Being A Top Scorer

The Most Outstanding Player award (MOP) is given to the best individual from the Final Four and has been given to a player from the championship team since 1983.

Out of the last 12 seasons, nine of the players to receive the award have played the guard position and legal sports betting sites generally favor these players. Out of Kentucky’s top three scorers this season, two of them are guards, with TyTy Washington Jr. averaging 12.2 points per game – second on the team.

When Kentucky won the championship in 2012, Archie Goodwin (guard) was the top scorer of the team with an average of 14.1 points per game.

Implication of the Rankings

ESPN’s College Basketball Power Index has shown major success in predicting the last teams standing in the NCAA tournament.

During the last 12 seasons, 10 of the championship winning teams were ranked in the top three of these rankings. The Wildcats were ranked number two during the 2011-2012 championship run.

ESPN Power Index For The 2022 Season

  1. Gonzaga
  2. Houston
  3. Kentucky

Over the course of the last 10 NCAA Championship games, UConn was the only team to win the tournament without being ranked in the top six of the Coaches Poll during the final week of the regular season.

Kentucky hits that mark as well.

End Of Regular Season 2022 Coaches Poll

  1. Gonzaga
  2. Arizona
  3. Baylor
  4. Auburn
  5. Kentucky
  6. Kansas

Regular Season Team Statistics

There have been only 12 teams since 2014 that have advanced to the Final Four that were ranked a five or lower seed. Granted, upsets occur often during March Madness but the higher seeding a team has, the better odds they have to find success.

Being a projected three seed, Kentucky would have a 25% chance to make it to the Elite Eight and a 12% chance to make it to the Final Four, per metrics.

Offensive efficiency is very important to continually progress through March Madness. Only three teams have ranked outside of the top three in KenPom offensive efficiency since 2002 and still won the championship.

Kentucky’s 2022 regular season ended with the sixth ranking of offensive efficiency but they have gained significant momentum toward the end of their season, sitting at third at time of writing.

Other Trends Surrounding The Tournament

The Kentucky Wildcats finished with an average three-point shooting percentage of 35%. This is known as the average throughout college basketball and the last 12 tournament winners have hit this mark in the regular season as well.

The winning teams from the past 12 NCAA tournaments have been universities with total student enrollments over 10,000. Kentucky has approximately over 29,000 total students. The smallest schools to win the NCAA tournament in the last 12 years were Duke (10,000) and Villanova (14,000).

The Eastern Time Zone has been dominant in the NCAA tournament with EST teams winning 18 of the last 20 titles.

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