Joe Lunardi's latest Bracketology includes eight Southeastern Conference teams

 Chris Lee   in Baseball

Kentucky leads the way in Lunardi's preseason bracket guess. 

John Calipari photo courtesy of Kentucky athletics.

ESPN's Joe Lunardi has released his latest iteration of Bracketology, and it includes eight Southeastern Conference teams.

Kentucky (a projected No. 3 seed) is Lunardi's highest-ranked SEC team in his projected NCAA men's basketball tournament field, followed by Arkansas and Alabama (4s), Tennessee (5), Auburn (6), LSU (8), Florida (9) and Mississippi State (11).

Mississippi State snuck in this edition after being left out of Lunardi's last. Lunardi slots the Bulldogs as one of his last four teams in and projects them to play Rutgers in a First Four game.

The inclusion of the other seven is no surprise;HeatCheckCBB published projections last week that slotted each of those teams in tournament-worthy territory.  

Kentucky missed last season's NCAA field after a disastrous 9-16 season. However, coach John Calipari re-built the roster with a list of impact transfers that included Kellan Grady (Davidson), Oscar Tshiebwe (West Virginia), CJ Frederick (Iowa) and Sahvir Wheeler (Georgia), in addition to his usual excellent recruiting haul. 

Auburn and State also failed to make last year's NCAA tournament, but the other teams on Lunardi's list did.