Paul Finebaum was spot on with his assessment of Kentucky as the “ultimate rollercoaster team” in college basketball. Unfortunately, that’s not a great sign for the Wildcats with March Madness approaching.

During a Monday appearance for “McElroy and Cubelic in the Morning,” Finebaum was asked about Kentucky’s 117-95 win over Alabama Saturday night. A free-flowing affair, John Calipari’s squad caught fire and was able to pull away from the Crimson Tide.

Finebaum agrees the performance is another one that shows how dangerous the Wildcats can be, but they are also “incredibly vulnerable” all at the same time. If that sounds familiar to fans, Finebaum says it is the same story for Calipari’s group in recent history.

“I think Kentucky is incredibly dangerous and incredibly vulnerable at the same time. It seems like this is the same story we’ve had with John Calipari for 4 or 5 years now,” said Finebaum. “I always look at this team after a game like that or the game against Auburn and feel like they can win the national championship, and then they go out and blow a game against LSU. I think they’re the ultimate rollercoaster team, but I also think they’re the most interesting team in the tournament.”

Kentucky’s cautionary tale of recent success

Kentucky’s recent track record speaks to Finebaum’s point with the Wildcats winning 3 of the last 4 with top-20 wins against Auburn and Alabama. Unfortunately, a loss to LSU is included in that stretch. It’s also important to look at how Kentucky has won — and lost — down the stretch.

The win against the Crimson Tide is the most stark example of why Kentucky is a rollercoaster squad. Yes, the Wildcats scored 117 points, but how they got there speaks volumes.

Kentucky finished the game shooting 63% from the floor and an eye-popping 54% from 3-point range. By comparison, the Wildcats are shooting 49% from the floor and 41% from 3-point range for the season.

The group cannot trust that kind of shooting every night, and a pair of career-high performances lifted the overall team effort.

Zvonimir Ivisic delivered his best game yet with 18 points and 4 blocks in 20 minutes played. Justin Edwards also exploded with a career-high 28 points on a perfect 10-for-10 shooting night.

The euphoria in Lexington was tangible as Ivisic and Edwards helped spearhead a dramatic run for the Wildcats. However, it’s unlikely to happen that way again.

Is Ivisic getting better as the season goes along? Likely, but his full body of work must be considered.

He has just one game over 12 minutes played besides Saturday, and you have to go all the way back to his debut against Georgia when he played 16 minutes in a blowout. Besides the Georgia and Alabama games, Ivisic’s impact is mostly contained in a blowout win against Vanderbilt.

Edwards is a regular starter for the Wildcats, but he has been inconsistent throughout the year. Did he find a new way to shine with the roster Calipari utilized, including a gut feeling on Ivisic, or will Edwards fall back into his up-and-down role moving forward?

In the loss to LSU, Edwards attempted just 4 shots (though he did make 3) for 9 points. Ivisic played just 3 minutes and did not register a shot attempt.

Calipari explained that Ivisic’s lack of playing time so far has boiled down to getting more physical, so it is a positive he played 20 minutes against the Crimson Tide. However, if he’s ramping up to be an X-factor in March, Ivisic needs to show he can be on the floor regularly to finish the season.

Rest of the schedule

At this point, Kentucky still has a shot to secure a top-4 seed in the SEC Tournament. As of Monday, the Wildcats are tied with Florida for 5th in the SEC standings with South Carolina and Auburn just one game ahead. Fans can track the latest odds for the postseason with SDS’s Kentucky sports betting apps.

Can Kentucky run the table and rise into the top 4? There are some winnable games in the final two weeks, but this team has shown an ability to drop some games it should win.

Mississippi State is next on Tuesday night, and the Bulldogs are a likely NCAA Tournament team. Earlier this season the Wildcats, beat Mississippi State 90-77, and playing on the road should be a tough game after the high of Saturday’s win.

After that, the Wildcats get two of the SEC’s worst teams at home in Arkansas and Vanderbilt. A loss to either would be disastrous, so we’ll assume Kentucky wins both, especially playing at home.

Then, a regular-season finale and road trip to face Tennessee looms on March 9. Considering the Vols could be playing for the regular-season SEC title and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament before a packed home crowd, this looks like a loss for Kentucky. The Vols previously beat Kentucky in Lexington by a score of 103-92.

Will a 2-2 record get Kentucky into the top 4? Time will tell, but even if the Wildcats beat that projection in the final four games, it will do little to change their outlook as the ultimate rollercoaster team hitting March Madness.

After that, fans will simply have to hope the Wildcats hit their high at just the right time.