LEXINGTON, KY - MARCH 01: John Calipari the head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats gives instructions to his team during the game against Georgia Bulldogs at Rupp Arena on March 1, 2012 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
The Kentucky Wildcats earned the No. 1 overall seed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, despite a loss in the SEC finals.
The Kentucky Wildcats were expected to be a high seed in the 2012 NCAA tournament bracket as soon as the college basketball season started. As March Madness gets started, though, it makes sense to look back at their journey to becoming a No. 1 seed.
The squad is led by a pair of talented freshmen in shot-blocker extraordinaire Anthony Davis and all-around swingman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist while sophomores Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb continue to heavily contribute during their second season in Kentucky. Senior forward Darius Miller rounds out a team that has five players likely to be NBA draft picks this summer.
The Wildcats began the season ranked behind only the North Carolina Tar Heels in the preseason Top 25 polls, but put together a 32-2 record on their way to clinching the SEC's regular season championship and the top spot in the college basketball rankings ever since Jan. 23.
The Wildcats suffered just one loss during the regular season, a 73-72 heartbreaker to the Indiana Hoosiers in early December when Christian Watford hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to clinch the upset. Aside from that loss, however, the Wildcats escaped the regular season unscathed.
Kentucky fell for the second time in the SEC Tournament, losing to Vanderbilt in the championship game by a final of 74-71. Still, their overall body of work was more than enough to warrant their top-seed status.
As expected, Kentucky earned the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament and was sent to the South Region. The Wildcats will either MVSU or Western Kentucky in the second round.
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For more on the Wildcats, be sure to visit SB Nation's A Sea Of Blue. For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket, stay with SB Nation's Selection Sunday StoryStream, and stick around SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub for a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on who was snubbed, who got the best bracket, and who will make it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four.