ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has long been the college basketball bracket king.
On Thursday night, the veteran analyst took to Twitter to answer questions from concerned fans. In one particular response, Lunardi cut deep with a brutally honest answer.
“Hello @ESPNLunardi what does Kentucky needs to do to get in?” one fan asked.
“Start the season over,” Lunardi bluntly responded.
Start the season over. https://t.co/UqKp55aTEF
— Joe Lunardi (@ESPNLunardi) February 26, 2021
Maybe this fan was given some hope by the Kentucky Wildcats’ recent three-game win streak — but, you’d have to be overly optimistic to believe there’s any way this historically-bad team makes the tournament.
In the midst of an 8-13 season, the usually-dominant Kentucky squad have been reeling all year. Tipping off the year with a dreadful 1-6 start, John Calipari’s team posted the worst early season record for the Wildcats since 1911.
The root of Kentucky’s problem this year lies in an over abundance of youth. With eight freshmen on the 2020-21 roster, the Wildcats are easily one of the youngest teams in the nation. Calipari-led teams are notorious for the freshman-heavy, one-and-done model — often leading to some rocky starts.
This year is different though. Without the lottery-pick level talent to make up for the inexperience, Kentucky just never got things going.
Even if the Wildcats win out in their final three regular season games, their record would still sit at a losing 11-13. At this point, an SEC tournament win is the only path Kentucky can take to the Big Dance. With four conference rivals currently ranked in the top 25, that dream is looking pretty unlikely.
The Wildcats will face the Florida Gators Saturday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. E.T.
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