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Kentucky’s Chances Of Going Undefeated Are Now 37 Percent

For the past three weeks or so, we’ve been tracking the odds that the Kentucky Wildcats can pull off a truly remarkable feat: becoming the first men’s NCAA Division I basketball team to finish a season undefeated since Bob Knight’s Indiana Hoosiers did so in 1976. Since the Wildcats just beat the Florida Gators in their SEC Tournament matchup on Friday, we thought we’d update the odds1 to reflect their 32-0 record.

paine-datalab-uk_undefeated

Kentucky’s chances of going undefeated still aren’t quite 40 percent, much less 50-50. The Wildcats did enter the Final Four undefeated in about 66 percent of our simulations, but the biggest obstacles to their undefeated bid will likely await them in Indianapolis. Even if they make it to that point unscathed, their probability of joining the Hoosiers among the ranks of the unbeaten would be just a shade over 56 percent.

Kentucky may be a mere eight wins away from immortality, but they still have a lot of work left to do.

Footnotes

  1. As a refresher, to compute these probabilities we plug Ken Pomeroy’s Pythagorean power ratings into the Log 5 formula, then simulate both the SEC Tournament and the most likely NCAA Tournament bracket (seeded according to the aggregate bracket projection found at BracketMatrix.com) 10,000 times apiece.

Neil Paine is a senior sportswriter for FiveThirtyEight.

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