Sometimes you wake up, look out the window and you can see the way your day will unfold. You'll get up, shower, have some breakfast, go to work/school, maybe hit up a happy hour, have dinner and then enjoy your evening before going to sleep. Well the SEC wakes up, looks out the window then randomly throws a chicken through that window and jumps out after it without a parachute. This is the SEC a lunatic that follows whims that may or may not make sense.
I don't get it, and the SB Nation writers of the SEC are the family that has to care for this maniac that is a basketball conference, we're all in this together, we laugh, cry and live with this drunk uncle, hopefully he doesn't drive us into a ravine...
This is the half week that was!
Arkansas (93) - Alabama (91) - OT
Arkansas and Bama played one of the more enjoyable games of the SEC season this past Thursday and it came down to the wire, several times. You had each team hitting each other and falling over but getting back up and when it came down to it, an alley oop sealed the Hogs win. Had this game gone to a second over time, I'm betting Bama would have finished the game with 4 players on the floor because everyone would have fouled out. Still awesome, still great.
Last year, Portis scored a career-high 35 points when literally everybody else had an off night to beat the Tide in Bud Walton, and this year made a couple of bad plays at the end of regulation that let Alabama squeak into an overtime period, only to score the winning basket at the last second to prevent double overtime.
The Alabama Crimson Tide, once again, almost pulled out a much-needed road win, only to fall on a Bobby Portis tip in at the buzzer, in overtime. The Tide battled from behind all night against long odds, and had opportunities but again was left on the outside, looking in.
Kentucky (58) - South Carolina (43)
Hey guess what? Kentucky continues to win and they did it on the road with suffocating defense. The only way for the SEC to go full SECBASKETBALLFEVER would be for Kentucky to lose at this point. Because any loss is going to be something unexpected. Fight that fever Kentucky, you're our only hope! I mean, they're 19-0, what can be said?
South Carolina played very well defensively, and rebounded the ball so well that they handed Kentucky only their third defeat of the season on the offensive glass, but unlike the others, this one was comprehensive and lopsided. South Carolina played very hard, but they just ran up against a superior team who did not have a bad game in most areas. USC played a competitive, hard fought game which we can all appreciate.
South Carolina hung around with the Wildcats on the defensive end for most of the afternoon, but they simply weren't able to mount enough offense, putting up just 43 points in the 40-minute contest and falling to the top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats 58-43. The loss drops Carolina to 1-5 in SEC play, and leaves them with few remaining avenues into the NCAA Tournament.
Texas A&M (67) - Tennessee (61)
One of our more drunken teams on the SECBASKETBALLFEVER is Tennessee. If you've watched them play, you see them out there, seemingly looking not great, yet still winning. It made no sense, NONE! Well now the Aggies have defeated UT and I have no idea what it means, I mean it was on the road. Is A&M now going to be good at basketball, I feel like maybe I've had a few too many.
We had patience, we had great ball movement, and we had purpose to our offensive possessions. Jalen Jones has proven himself to be the answer at the high post, and his range from 18 meant we were always one pass away from completely killing the 2-3. And kill it we did. From downtown, from the high post, and through a series of back-breaking passes, we repeatedly got great looks for darn near the entire 40 minutes.
For some long and uncomfortable stretches, this looked and felt like the Alabama game in Knoxville two Saturdays ago. Texas A&M, a strong defensive team all year, sat back in their zone and dared the Vols to beat them with the three. The Aggies clogged the lane and were the first team in conference play to really utilize size against Tennessee on the glass. A&M finished +7 on the glass led by Jalen Jones, who had 18 points and 9 rebounds.
Arkansas (61) - Mizzou (60)
In a season that drove into the ravine on night one for Missouri continues and the Tigers just find new and sadder ways to lose. Arkansas meanwhile found a new way to win as their press was not nearly as effective as it had been, and Mike Anderson got his first win in Columbia since he left. Hopefully he went through the front door this time!
It worked out. There was red meat for Mike Anderson's critics - especially in the last minute. With time to design whatever play Arkansas wanted with under a minute to go and a one-point lead, the Hogs went with an Alandise Harris drive from the wing, which was blocked, and followed by Qualls shooting a long two-pointer at the end of the shot clock. But it worked out. Then you could argue Anderson didn't put his best defensive lineup at the end when Missouri could have won - Moses Kingsley and Manuale Watkins were both on the bench. But it worked out.
We caught a lot of glimpses today of what a good Missouri team might look like in the future. Mizzou maintained its composure against Arkansas' pressure, to the point where the Hogs simply stopped pressing altogether. The Tigers made some huge jumpers in the final minutes despite a couple of lengthy offensive droughts. They kept battling despite setbacks -- droughts, banked-in 3-pointers, Arkansas offensive rebounds -- and gave themselves a chance to win at the line with three seconds left. Against a pretty good Arkansas team, that's an accomplishment. But like a lot of Mizzou's other "accomplishments" this season, it didn't accompany a win.
Georgia (72) - Mississippi State (66)
Mississippi State have turned things around people, there's no two ways about it. They had won two in a row, and pretty much took care of four Georgia Bulldogs, but were defeated by the fifth. Check out the game that JJ Frazier had. He did it all. Hey, rest of you dogs, give your buddy a hand! Georgia is streaking and look to be hitting their stride no, and road wins are always good.
Frazier knocked down 12-14 field goal attempts and was a perfect 7-7 from three-point range. Thornton finished with 10 points while Charles Mann added seven points, five rebounds and five assists. Georgia converted 49 percent of their field goal attempts and was 11-18 from three-point range.
Mississippi State likely would have won the game if not for Georgia's star player going off for a record night. UGA's J.J. Frazier connected on all 7 of his three point attempts and scored a game high 37 points, the most points scored at the Hump by a single player since 2012. Georgia as a whole connected on 11 three point attempts and shot for 49% in the game. UGA hit 5 out of their final 6 free throw attempts to seal the win.
LSU (79) - Vanderbilt (75) OT
The Tigers of LSU ground out a victory in over time on the road at Vanderbilt, which is where the road teams can have a tough time. Tim Quarterman pretty much did everything for LSU and was too much for the Commodores in overtime. LSU is starting to look particularly strong and terrifying. You're on notice SEC!
The Tigers and Commodores went back-and-forth all night sending the game to overtime. The Tigers got the scoring started in the extra period to lead 71-69. Martin with 17 points on the night put LSU up 73-69. Vandy tied it at 73 before Quarterman gave the Tigers the lead for good. Martin added both foul shots to ice the 79-75 win.
Vanderbilt looked solid for 40 minutes, but this young team couldn't get over the hump when it came to overtime, falling to LSU 79-75. The Commodores ran out of gas, allowing an often-discombobulated Tiger team to make the plays necessary to notch a road win in conference play
Ole Miss (72) - Florida (71)
Well SEC, you're on notice, beating Florida isn't going to do much for you at this point as they just don't seem to have it this season. They're still in NCAA conversations because, Florida, but it's looking less and less realistic. On the other hand, Ole Miss gets a win they needed to stay in the upper half of the SEC. I don't know what's going on with Florida, but this feels like a long con that we're all gonna be the chumps of at the end of the day...
This outfit isn't that far from the teams that Florida fielded in 2010-11 and 2011-12 — the last Florida team to lose three straight games, like this one did — and 2012-13, except for the facts that this team has lost more games and in more excruciating fashion, both of which have made this one of the most exasperating seasons in recent Gators history. On nights when someone is brilliant — Frazier's 27 points came on 11 shots, and he added five rebounds and three assists, while also not committing a turnover — the lack of brilliance by someone else holds the Gators back; the cast of characters and the roles change, but the plot never seems to vary very much.
Don’t be misled, however: this contest was tight tight tight to the end. With 26 seconds to go, Jarvis Summers drained an absurdly long twofer that put Ole Miss up 70-69. After a Snoop White hack at the other end, Florida’s Michael Frazier II dropped both free-throws, which left the Rebels nine seconds to run the floor for the win. Summers delivered yet again by earning a trip to the free-throw line and swishing both attempts. Game, Rebels.
Alabama (57) - Auburn (55)
It's the basketball Iron Bowl! And just like the football game, this came down to a last second tip in to take Bama over the top of Auburn. Rodney Cooper put a missed shot back in and bam, game winner. Bruce Pearl is doing things in Auburn, but it's not going to be this year. Can Anthony Grant will this team to an at large birth, well if he is, this is the game you have to win, and they did!
With the score tied 55-55 and 10 seconds left in the game, Randolph finally missed a shot. Fortunately, his partner in crime since freshman year, Rodney Cooper, caught the errant shot and put it back for 2 with four seconds left. Auburn missed the desperation shot and Coleman Coliseum exploded as Alabama lengthened its home win streak against Auburn to six.
Still, it was a good game to go on the road in such a high-intensity environment and know that the Tigers could have won if they were able to shoot better in the early going. If there's one big positive to take away from this for Auburn fans, it's knowing that Bruce Pearl took a team that is really not all that great into a hostile environment in a huge rivalry game and they almost pulled it out. The future is still very bright for Auburn basketball.
And there you have it, another installment of SECBASKETBALLFEVER, try not to get any on you, and the Advil's always there with a glass of water on the nightstand, just in case you need it!