In Jurassic Park, the character played by Jeff Goldblum, Ian Malcolm proposed the idea of Chaos Theory. He also played the cool scientist wearing a leather jacket, all black clothes and some fancy tinted reading glasses, so maybe he shouldn't be taken too seriously.
But back to Chaos Theory. According to him, you can't predict anything more than a few seconds into the future, that slight variations that can't be taken into account will assert themselves and affect what you're trying to predict. And that my friends is the perfect way to describe this SEC Season.
What you think is going to happen, hell what you would predict to happen, well there's almost no chance you would be right.
With all that in mind, we'll get into Ian Malcolm's head and use him as our muse as we dive into the half week that was in the wild, wonderful and weird SEC.
Florida (75) - Auburn (55) - Must Go Faster.
There really wasn't much to this game to that wasn't typical. Young team goes on the road, young team gets sped up, home team wins. Florida wins at home in the SEC, that happens and if you want to beat them, make them uncomfortable, Pearls's Tigers could not and in the grand scheme of things need to get better quicker.
The Gators built their lead in the first half on a 15-0 run that spanned more than six minutes, and never relinquished it, despite a 10-0 run by the Tigers in the second half that featured threes on three consecutive offensive possessions. Florida shot just under 50 percent from the floor, but better than 40 percent from three, and the Gators held their own underneath against imposing Auburn forward Cinmeon Bowers, holding him to 11 points on 11 shots and limiting him to just three offensive rebounds.
Auburn has a history of relying on one major scoring threat, and when that player has a bad night, the team as a whole has a bad night. I really thought the addition of Antoine Mason to the line-up would help alleviate that issue. At times it has, but at other times Mason has gone cold, as well. When he and KT Harrell are both cold... you end up with Auburn's first half, tonight.
Georgia (75) - Florida (61) - Anybody hear that? It's a, um... It's an impact tremor, that's what it is... I'm fairly alarmed here.
The Gators came into this game on a 24 game SEC winning streak and then headed up to Georgia and it all went poof. Georgia went up 12 - 0 to start the game and that put Florida in a big enough hole that they couldn't claw their way back from. Florida was playing on short rest after having played against Auburn Thursday night because the SEC schedulers can be a cruel, cruel mistress, them and ESPN. Georgia on the other hand seems to be getting their footing and putting the SEC on notice, taking down Florida at home a few days after going on the road at Vandy (where no one wins) and beating the Commodores. Impact tremor, you better believe the Dawgs are coming.
The Bulldog's hot shooting and good defensive effort prevented the Gators from establishing their press and pressure defense. Florida showed some signs of life at the end of the first half and closed to within 36-31 at the break.
With Georgia tickling the twine repeatedly — the Bulldogs shot 56 percent from the field, and made eight of 15 threes — the Gators needed to at least avoid giving away possessions to keep pace. And, simply, they couldn't, with Hill, Chiozza, and Carter all doing too much to try to break down Georgia in the halfcourt, and a number of fumbled passes giving the Dawgs the ball.
Texas A&M (67) - LSU (64) - She's, uh... tenacious.
A&M went on the road and trailed for as much of this game as you can before actually winning, putting a few runs together before finally taking the final lead with 22 seconds left. Billy Kennedy's got his team playing tough and sticking with teams playing sound basketball and believing, that yes they can! LSU on the other hand, that's chaos. Biggest team in the conference, should own the glass and exert their will on everyone, chaos personified.The Aggies have a favorable schedule coming up, and this group, well tenacious indeed.
WE WON A ROAD CONFERENCE GAME! THIS IS NOT A TEST, I REPEAT THIS IS NOT A TEST!
The Aggies had never before won a game in the PMAC. Texas A&M was also previously 0-3 on the road this season. There are not too many excuses to be made for The Tigers. The Aggies will likely finish below .500 in league play this season, and yet LSU could not finish the game.
Kentucky (70) - Alabama (48) - What's so great about discovery? It's a violent, penetrative act that scars what it explores.
This is what Kentucky has decided they are going to do to teams following an "embarrassing" first two weeks, being taken to overtime by Ole Miss and A&M. The Cats have decided they are going to beat you, destroy your confidence and leave you on the side of the road in a drainage ditch wondering what happened and shaking ever so slightly. Sometimes chaos is exactly the opposite of chaos it's order, and in this case, order has been restored. Bama kept the game reasonable for a bit of the game but eventually were Kentucky'ed. Don't worry Bama, it's gonna happen to all of us.
he last two games, one at home against a too young but talented Missouri Tigers team and this one on the road against a high-quality Alabama Crimson Tide team have shown the quality of the Wildcats' collective focus has returned. Kentucky has achieved 17-0, and are two wins away from matching Calipari’s best start at Kentucky in 2009-10.
On the opening play of the game, senior Levi Randolph stole the ball from Kentucky's Aaron Harrison and bolted down the court for a layup and the first two points of the game - sending Coleman Coliseum into an electrifying frenzy of hungry Tide fans. Then everyone remembered that Kentucky is really good at basketball. Ten minutes, some turnovers, and a flurry of three point shots later, Kentucky jumped out to a 21-9 lead.Shannon Hale and Randolph quickly scored five points and Alabama seemed to be poised to crawl back into the game. That is, until Kentucky scored 10 straight points and proceeded to close the half with a 35-17 lead.
Mississippi State (57) - Vanderbilt (54) - See, here I'm now sitting by myself, uh, er, talking to myself. That's, that's chaos.
The narrative is dead, State will not spend the SEC season defeated and now have a one game winning streak! Vandy was the unfortunate victim as they were defeated at the sparsely populated Hump where they led by 8 at halftime and were then undone by some hot shooting and having to hear "YMCA" to end the game. I'm sure many State fans found themselves sitting alone, not believing what they were seeing, and knowing chaos truly is real and does exist.
Mississippi State rallied from an eight point halftime deficit to defeat the Vanderbilt Commodores, 57-54. This is MSU's first conference win of the season and snaps a three-game losing streak. While it was far from being a perfect game for MSU, fans can come away happy knowing that the Bulldogs won't finish the season without a SEC victory. It was also nice to see, despite all the criticism, that the players have not given up on the season.
Well, this one is going to sting for a very long time. Vanderbilt lost to the 235th ranked team in the country on Saturday, falling to Mississippi State on the road in a sloppy display. The Commodores were outrebounded 41-28, outshot 38.6 to 38.5%, and outscored 57-54 in the team's worst loss of the season.
Tennessee (59) - Mizzou (51) - Me? Oh, hell yeah, three. I love kids. Anything at all can and does happen. Same with wives, for that matter.
In a game that featured young teams, featuring new coaches played some of the uglier basketball their fan bases have seen in some time. Kids can get rattled, turn the ball over and do. Kids can shoot off balance threes to keep a game close and then turn around and shoot the ball off the top of the backboard. With teams this young you just have no idea what's going to happen or what's coming next. Chaos exists in the kids, more than anywhere else. In this case the slightly older Vols were able to free throw shoot their way to a road win over a young and not ready for prime time Missouri Tigers.
But then the Vols turned up the defensive intensity, forced three consecutive turnovers, and extended the lead to 52-49. They then went 7-8 from the free throw line to seal the game when Missouri got into desperation fouling mode with just over a minute remaining. Tennessee was a remarkable 18-20 from the charity stripe for the game.
Stop me if you've heard this, but with a team dominated by freshman and sophomores, this is going to happen. Over those final 5 minutes Tennessee's pressing defense was able to rattle Tramaine Isabell into two turnovers on Mizzou's side of the court. Mizzou was then beat on an inbounds pass that resulted in a dunk for Tennessee and outside of a Namon Wright three, Mizzou was not able to close out.
Auburn (71) - South Carolina (68) - If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it’s that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, it expands to new territories and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously, but uh…well, there it is.
Bruce Pearl and Frank Martin are two coaches ready to explode and personify chaos. You have no idea what's coming next and they could lose it at any moment. But their two teams are coming for you upper echelon of the SEC, they're gonna kick down the door and ruin your little party at the top. The SEC could have a new upper middle class and the landlords are both nuts, in the best possible way. Auburn won this game at home in a matchup of two similar teams, were this game played in Columbia, South Carolina, I'm betting we'd see the same score just reversed.
It's been a long time since Auburn has had a true home court advantage. Auburn's crowd was loud all night. The crowd was loud when they were supposed to be loud and quiet when they should be quiet. When Auburn started slow and you began wondering if we were about to get run out of the gym, the noise started to build. Just like that, Auburn went from a 6 point hole to a 10 point half time lead. Auburn faded down the stretch and had the chance to give the game away but the crowd wouldn't let them. Auburn's basketball team has fans they can be proud of.
The Gamecocks went six of the final eight minutes without a field goal and as the game went on Auburn's K.T. Harrell and Cinmeon Bowers wore on the Gamecocks defense. After the run the Tigers never relinquished the lead again, despite South Carolina continually battling to get the lead back on their side.
Ole Miss (96) - Arkansas (82) - There. Look at this. See? See? I'm right again. Nobody could've predicted that Dr. Grant would suddenly jump out of a moving vehicle.
Ole Miss went on the road...to Arkansas...and won. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT'S HAPPENING ANYMORE! Vandy losing at State is one thing, but Ole Miss going into Fayetville and winning by 14 points is crazy, it's chaos personified. Ole Miss did what they did against Kentucky by shooting lights out from everywhere,but the real issue could be that Arkansas can't defend, just plain can't stop people and have been winning with offense.All these facts, important indeed, but did you see this coming? Did anyone?! Ole Miss you're my chaos buddy. Or just good and better than we thought, I have no idea!
Ole Miss never really lost control of this game and to be sure they dictated play from wire to wire. The Razorbacks’ Bobby Portis, Michael Qualls and Ky Madden came to scrap, but without any real support, their combined 67 points languished beneath the Rebel onslaught. Ole Miss brought the noise on both sides of the court.
Everything else was bad.
The SEC is the SEC, it's chaotic, unpleasant at times and you have no idea what's coming from one game to the next. The hope is that this doesn't turn into another narrative where the SEC is mediocre and can't separate it's middle from the top and we end up with two teams in the tournament...but it may be! And won't it be fun finding out what we're going to be.
The SEC, you think you know, but you have no idea...