Forget Arkansas: It's looking like the team from the bottom half of the bracket that will go on a run in Hoover this year is Kentucky -- yes, that Kentucky. After outlasting Mississippi State in a 12-inning marathon, the Wildcats are now one win away from playing for the SEC tournament championship, despite the fact that everything says they shouldn't.
The cavernous dimensions of Hoover Metropolitan don't favor offensive teams? The Wildcats have scored 18 runs on 33 hits over their first three games this week. Kentucky was the No. 9 seed and on a pretty difficult side of the bracket? They beat the No. 8, No. 1 and No. 5 teams en route to the semifinals. The team doesn't have the pitching to win the conference playoffs? Try telling Alabama and Florida, which combined for three runs against UK in the first two rounds, and consider that Kentucky now has a day off to rest some of its arms. (The defense, on the other hand, could use some work after four errors in Thursday's night game.)
Oh, and by my unofficial count, A.J. Reed has an on-base percentage of .500 in the tournament. While holding Alabama to one run in five innings when he pitched the first-round game.
Either Mississippi State or Florida will get one last chance to stop the Wildcats, depending on who wins Friday's elimination game. The good news for Mississippi State -- or Florida -- is that the semifinals are winner-take-all affairs. The slate will be wiped clean, and all they need is one victory against Kentucky.
Of course, that win has been pretty hard to come by so far.