Well it appears that the ground has stopped shifting under the feet of the SEC in the basketball sense as our teams have stayed pretty much in the same spot that they did a week ago for the first time, well ever. Did Slive and the upper brass of the conference get together and really hammer home that the SEC has a chance to have the second most teams in the tourney if they'd all just agree to work together, have the weak picked off by the strong and the lower half of the conference just do whatever it feels like? I don't know, but with this being Grandpa Mike's last season in charge it would make sense in the most SEC of ways. Somebody called the bag man and he took care of things it would seem.
Last week I posited that even if Kentucky lost a game they'd still sit atop these rankings, and the Wildcats tried to do just that this past Tuesday night almost giving LSU that signature win to really solidify their place in the NCAAs, but then Kentucky went and did what they do and LSU got a little Johnny Jones on them and poof upset defeat was gone for the Tigers. Will Kentucky stay undefeated, at this point it just looks like that's a question of whether they want to or not.
The Hogs still sit in second (though it's getting a bit tighter) after recording their third straight win over the bottom of the conference and what a win! 100 points! Arkansas put up 100 points on Auburn, what was maybe more impressive and part of the reason our voters may not be 100% sure that the Hogs should be in second would be the 87 points they allowed Auburn to put up. For some teams those scores would equal to at least the point totals for two conference games and maybe even three, looking at you Mizzou. But Arkansas does remain in second, however with a road date at Ole Miss tomorrow evening the top of the conference could be in for a shakeup.
Speaking of Ole Miss, the Rebels remain in 3rd place thanks in part to a big win over the Gators in the O Dome last night. And I think I've figured out why Ole Miss plays so much better on the road, it's the comfort of knowing that the lights will remain on and the game won't be interrupted due to a power outage. This can only pay dividends in March where all arenas have to have power. Following closely in 4th are the Bulldogs of Georgia by a mere four points who got a big road win in College Station (never thought I'd type that) over the Aggies to hold onto 4th place in the actual standings as well and to take the tie breaker advantage heading into Nashville time. Georgia now looks forward to a break in the schedule as they take on the lower half of the conference over the next couple weeks where they can pad their record and prep for March.
In 5th as just mentioned you've got the Aggies of Texas A&M who lost at home to Georgia as they start their tour of the top of the conference where we'll get a better idea of what Texas A&M is. Are they a contender for March or was a lot of their record built on the back of the dregs of the conference? Beat Florida and LSU and A&M should stay in this spot, lose both and our voters may lose faith in the season Billy Kennedy has put together. Following the Aggies we have LSU who had a chance at home to score the biggest upset in the SEC this season leading Kentucky for most of the way only to lose it at the end. Props to the Tigers for going for the win at the end of regulation, however the play itself could have been a little better executed. LSU's still got some time to get a signature win or two, but it's getting short for one of the most talented teams in the conference.
And now we get to the gooey center of the rankings of the conference inhabited by three teams who are pretty interchangeable in the eyes of our voters with Florida, Tennessee and Alabama inhabiting the 7th through 9th spots. All three teams had a week that wasn't going to inspire their fanbases or the voters in our poll with close victories over the bottom of the conference (Tennessee needing OT to beat Vandy and Bama beating State by 3) and a close loss to one of the top teams at home (Florida vs Ole Miss). None of these teams are that distinguishable from the other and March seems like it will be a time for a shake up in Tuscaloosa, a potential shocker in Gainesville (will Billy D finally go to the NBA, MAYBE) and more rebuilding in Knoxville. The offseason should be interesting for all three of these teams.
In the bottom of the conference Mississippi State continues to be the team that is still the most perplexing for our voters not really knowing where to put the Bulldogs, call it a hangover from the early season where the perception of what happened in January is carrying over to February. But fear not Dogs, Mizzou's coming up on Saturday and they seem to be the cure for what ails you in SEC play. Shooting up the rankings, our biggest mover this week are the Commodores of Vanderbilt who sky rocket up two spots in the rankings to 11th after spending the previous week at 13th and this may be a question of how the their basement friends did more than anything else.
Sitting in 12th you have the Gamecocks of South Carolina who beat Mizzou by four and I'm betting our voters pretty much view that as a tie. Beating a team with 7 scholarship players at home is nothing really to write home about. In 13th we've got the Tigers of Auburn who scored a boatload of points but who also gave up a bigger boatload of points to Arkansas in a game that featured 53 fouls...53! College basketball reffs, get your 's' together, you're killing the viewers. And finally in last you've got the Tigers of Ol' Mizzou who by the time the season ends will be pulling fans out of the stands to suit up because the likelihood of having enough scholarship players to fill out a starting lineup is slowly looking unrealistic.
And now...to the Rankings!
|Team||Points||Ranking||Ranking Last Week||Change||Highest Rank||Lowest Rank|
|Texas A&M||109||5th||4th||Down 1||5th||6th|
|South Carolina||35||12th||11th||Down 1||10th||13th|
Points were distributed 1st = 14, 2nd = 13, 3rd = 12, 4th = 11, 5th = 10, 6th = 9, 7th = 8, 8th = 7, 9th = 6, 10th = 5,
11th = 4, 12th = 3, 13th = 2, and 14th = 1
With no real chances left on the schedule to impress the committee, it feels like they're just out of time. (Rocky Top Talk)
The injury-plagued Tide are going to have to make a run right now if they want to make the NCAA Tournament and save Anthony Grant's job. (Roll Bama Roll)
We'll know how much they care about hoops when Grant stays or goes at the end of the year. (Dawg Sports)
They are really hot right now, beating two cellar dwellers in a row by 20 each then putting up 101 on the road against Auburn. (College and Magnolia)
The hogs travel to Oxford on Saturday in what could be one of the best games of the year in the SEC. Barring something drastic, the Hogs are poised to go dancing in march. (Red Cup Rebellion)
Starting to look like an NCAA team with three convincing wins in a row. (A Sea of Blue)
I keep waiting for them to jump up and bite someone at home… but I don't know if it's going to happen this year.(Good Bull Hunting)
Auburn's figured out how to score but has forgotten how to play defense. At least it isn't boring. (College and Magnolia)
The Tigers on the Plains are still fighting, but can't quite muster up enough wins.(Rock M Nation)
Gators haven't missed the tournament in this decade. (Rocky Top Talk)
Old gray mare she ain't what she used to be. (Dawg Sports)
Overall record be damned, Florida is still one of the SEC's deepest and most competitive squads. (And the Valley Shook)
The Bulldogs are the big winners this week. Not only did they grab two big wins against Tennessee and A&M, but they are also starting to get healthy. This team could be about to peak at the right time. (Roll Bama Roll)
When healthy, they are dangerous. And they are getting healthy.(Dawg Sports)
The Dogs seemed to have recovered nicely from that funky loss at Carolina. Their remaining schedule sets up very favorably for them to make a run to close out the season. (Red Cup Rebellion)
Big test passed with winning in Baton Rouge, Wildcats look like it'll be tough to catch them napping. Or maybe they're just so good it doesn't matter. (Rock M Nation)
Kentucky's getting challenged, but meeting every one. (A Sea of Blue)
Kentucky could lose their next three and I'd still rank them #1 in the SEC. (Good Bull Hunting)
The Tigers are so tough to beat when they have their best five on the floor and they are all playing hard. The lack of depth is what ails the Bayou Bengals. (Roll Bama Roll)
I still don't know exactly what to make of this team, since taking UK down to the wire is something 3 other SEC teams have done. Don't trust the Tigers. (And the Valley Shook)
The Tigahs really needed that win over Kentucky to boost their NCAAT resume. They do, however, have a few opportunities down the stretch (@A&M, Ole Miss, @Arky) to make a case for the dance. (Red Cup Rebellion)
Much more competitive than we expected but that's a net negative for the league right now.(And the Valley Shook)
Their season gets a lot tougher from here on out. They'll be lucky to win two games from here on, and both could come against Mizzou. (A Sea of Blue)
A bit of a reality check, the Bulldogs aren't very good and they beat some pretty terrible teams, and a bit of a trap game coming up against Mizzou, we'll see what kind of corner they've turned. (Rock M Nation)
Brutal Clark injury, absolutely brutal. What a rough year for the Tigers. (Good Bull Hunting)
On top of losing 10 in a row, Tigers have lost their best player in Wes Clark for the season, and currently have 3 players suspended. #TheDarkWinter continues. (Rock M Nation)
The loss of Wes Clark to a dislocated elbow has made this season even more horrible than it already was.(A Sea of Blue)
Won 6 of their last 7 and a not difficult run into the end of the season means both Kennedy clubs should go dancing.(Dawg Sports)
We'll find out who the real number 2 is on Saturday with the huge showdown in Oxford between the Rebs and the Hogs. Ole Miss showed against Florida that it can be taken advantage of down low but they still find ways to win close games because of veteran leadership. They're in the driver's seat for an NCAA tournament bid. (Red Cup Rebellion)
/throws dart at board HEY! OLE MISS IS #3!(College and Magnolia)
Held off Missouri and kept themselves from making a case for last place. (Roll Bama Roll)
A loss on the road to Vanderbilt just makes this season suck more for them. They beat Mizzou, but now have to go into the Rupp Arena meat grinder. (A Sea of Blue)
Did you know the Gamecocks have now beaten Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Clemson and Georgia this year? (And the Valley Shook)
Donnie Tyndall really has done an excellent job this year. The Vols were able to hang tough with Georgia and then gut out a win in Nashville. (Roll Bama Roll)
Vols need a few more wins down the stretch for people to still feel like Donnie Tyndall has gotten the most from the least this year. (Rocky Top Talk)
Considering the exodus after the Cuonzo Martin deal, an NIT bid in his first year is a solid return from Tyndall. (Dawg Sports)
They should win enough down the stretch to go dancing. (Dawg Sports)
In danger of becoming the team with no bad losses and no good wins. (Good Bull Hunting)
The loss at home to Georgia makes the game against Florida this weekend big for the Aggies. (A Sea of Blue)
Vandy. People will come, Vandy. The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Vandy. The one constant through all the years, Vandy, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Vandy. It reminds us of all that once was good and that could be again. Oh...people will come Vandy. People will most definitely come. (Rock M Nation)
That's a bubble team at worst next year. Just need another guard to take the pressure and minutes off the starters. (Rocky Top Talk)
The Dores are going to be really good moving forward, provided that they don't lose half the team to random attrition for the third year in a row. (Roll Bama Roll)
And that's a rap people. Another week of SEC basketball in the books and I'd say we were treated to some really good games, and some lesser ones, but that's all the SEC is capable of giving you and isn't that enough? After a seemingly boring week, I can only imagine what we'll see next week, hopefully anarchy.
Enjoy the weekend and if you're in St. Louis or New Orleans, look out for flying beads!