For some time now we've wondered if the SEC would continue to show well and maintain around 6 teams in most bracketologists' minds, could the conference heavyweights take care of the little guys while playing good competitive games with each other so as not to get a bad loss on their resume? The answer as of now, a few days from March, is...maybe. This week the SEC just went and took a couple dings to the fenders after careening around a corner drunk on brown liquor, let's see if they can turn into that skid and come out the other side with their car intact.
It's boring to read this, and it's getting boring to write this, Kentucky remains your top team in the SEC Power Rankings. You know it, I know it, hell my family in France knows it! Big Blue had another week where they gave two teams from the lower caste of the SEC basketball rankings two beatings and moved on with their lives. The beating of Auburn however was rough. UK score over 100 points and if they played in DC I'd be eating 50% off Papa Johns, were I to eat Papa Johns. They then beat Mississippi State in a game that showed that even Kentucky can get bored in season and just lollygag their way through a game before they end up finishing you.
Coming in second as has been the case for some time are the Hogs of Arkansas who had two close victories over the week, one against A&M that was tight right up until the last minute. You gotta hit those free throws when they're given to you when you're on the road at Bud Walton. Really this is all just a preview for what is going to potentially be the game of the year in SEC when Arkansas and Kentucky clash tomorrow afternoon. Kentucky's got three games left and make no mistake this will be their toughest challenge. Get by the Hogs and the chance to go unbeaten gets pushed into the red, lose this game and well nothing really changes except that instead of the narrative of "can they go unbeaten" changes to "well it's good they got a loss before the NCAAs." Tune in tomorrow to see how it shakes out.
In third we've got the Aggies of A&M who continue to win the games they're supposed to, and lose the games that we'd expect them to. They came up short on the road at Arkansas this week in a great game that could have done wonders for their post season plans. Check out this article from Team Speed Kills about what message A&M's eventual seeding will mean for not only the perception of the conference but what it does for the other bubble teams.
Dropping in at 4th are the Bulldogs of Georgia. UGA had had a bad week a couple weeks ago but seem to have figured things out and determined a rotation that they can work with, and covering up some holes that had sprung due to injuries. This week they went to the Tad Pad and took out Ole Miss in a big statement game for the upper echelon of the conference. This is one of those games that could haunt Ole Miss and be what solidified the Dogs shot at a ticket to the dance.
And now we've got the Rebels of Ole Miss. For some time the Rebs have been getting second and third place votes and their spot in the rankings has caused some conversation in the comments section each week. This week Ole Miss squeaked by the Vols by two at home and then suffered the aforementioned home defeat to the Bulldogs of Georgia and our voters reacted the way that they did. These are another two losses that the Rebels couldn't take if they want their spot in March to be in the NCAAs and not the NIT. Ole Miss has a big chance to make things right with a road tilt at LSU tomorrow afternoon, win that and they make up for the week that was, lose it and well bubble watch becomes a daily click for our friends in Oxford.
Sitting at 6th is everyone's favorite enigma, the Tigers of LSU. This week LSU took care of business beating Florida and Auburn, two games they should have won and honestly, the fact that they did is worth something at this point. LSU seems to have figured things out and tweaked their line up in a way that's allowed them to find some rhythm. As noted above, LSU gets another shot at a resume building win as the Ackbars of Ole Miss come into Baton Rouge tomorrow afternoon. This game is really quintessential SEC, win this and LSU is on the right side of the bubble, and Ole Miss is sweating and vice versa. Oh SEC, you're crazy.
And now we get to the part of the conference where everyone's playing but they're playing for next year, NIT or CBI berths or thinking about baseball, softball or spring football.
Alabama moves up two spots into 7th place after a week a close loss to Georgia on Sunday which was the Anthony Grant era in one game and a win over foundering South Carolina. Bama's got some potential for "big" wins in their last three games, but will it be enough to keep Grant employed? An NIT berth seems likely and what that means for AG, I have no idea, time will tell.
Sitting in 9th are the Vols who have completely hit the wall and are the losers of four straight games. The freshman legs have seen enough and no one is Turning Down for What with as much ferocity as they were just weeks ago. The rebuilding year that the voters expected is now evident, and the early season success may have just been a result of beating up on the little brothers of the SEC. But, that's still higher than Florida!
The Gators (who get the Vols tomorrow) have only won one game in their past seven and suffered the soul crushing'est of defeats to SEC cellar dweller the Tigers of Ol' Mizzou. It looks like Billy Donovan will be sitting on victory number 499 for a little bit longer than Gators fans had expected.
Falling at 10th are the suddenly competent looking Commodores of Vanderbilt who haven't really suffered the big beatings that most teams in the lower half of the conference have with a week of wins over Mizzou and a close win over Tennessee that had them looking inept in the first half. Vandy's built for the future it seems, but that's all irrelevant because the NCAA has finally done a little something about the court situation they've got in Nashville.
Landing at 11th are the Bulldogs of Mississippi State whose fans have moved onto baseball season at this point. The Bulldogs showed some fight against Kentucky before being dispatched and close out the season with some winnable games. What this all means for Rick Ray, well no one knows. Still the best dressed coach in the conference. South Carolina comes in at 12th and that Georgia win from a couple weeks ago is looking more and more like an outlier more than anything else. A season that started with such promise has completely gone off the rails, maybe next year Cocks.
At the bottom of the conference we've got Auburn and Mizzou, where they've been the entire time. Auburn's lost three straight, including that curbstomping by Kentucky and while they are showing signs of life, it looks like year one for Bruce Pearl will end with a losing record. And in 14th we've got Mizzou. Mizzou hadn't won in 13 games before taking out the Gators at home and causing their fans to feel an emotion they've not felt at all in 2015, joy!
Now, to the rankings!
|Team||Points||Ranking||Ranking Last Week||Change||Highest Rank||Lowest Rank|
|Texas A&M||99||3rd||4th||Up 1||3rd||6th|
|Ole Miss||78||5th||3rd||Down 2||3rd||6th|
|Mississippi State||32||11th||10th||Down 1||10th||12th|
|South Carolina||21||12th||11th||Down 1||11th||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
The only real question here is can Anthony Grant do just enough to not get fired, again.(Dawg Sports)
Anthony Grant really hates the idea of a leather ball going through a hoop.(Roll Bama Roll)
Why does a team attempt so many threes while being so bad at them?(Anchor of Gold)
We saw 20 minutes of their A game against A&M. If they bring that for a full 40, they can beat Kentucky.(Good Bull Hunting)
Playing for seeding now, but I want to know what happened against A&M – up by 23 at the half and win by 6? That's a serious near-collapse, and that kind of 2nd half effort will get them embarrassed in Lexington on Saturday. (A Sea of Blue)
Kentucky is hot again. Help us Hoggie Wan PigSooie; you're our only hope.(College and Magnolia)
Yep, they're still bad.(Rock M Nation)
Auburn has decided to run the same defense it saw the pros using in the NBA All-Star game. (College and Magnolia)
KT Harrell deserves better than this spot. Cinmeon Bowers doesn't, however.(Roll Bama Roll)
The Gators probably don't even make the NIT at this rate. Is this real life or is this just fantasy? (Dawg Sports)
They seem to hate Billy Donovan. I can't think of any other explanation for how Donovan still doesn't have career win #500. (Anchor of Gold)
Hit absolute rock bottom with a road loss to 20 loss Missouri. On behalf of RockMNation, I'd like to thank you for hitting rock bottom. (Rock M Nation)
Huge win against Ole Miss; saved their NCAA Tournament berth. They still need to take care of business vs. Missouri and Auburn to be sure of an invite, but they should be in.(A Sea of Blue)
Sweeping Ole Miss puts them above the Rebels, and continues to show this thin squad just needs to be healthy to compete with anyone (except Kentucky).(Dawg Sports)
Nice win over LSU. I don't know what to make of that SC/Auburn debacle...let's just pretend it never happened. (Good Bull Hunting)
Still probably can't beat Ditka, mini or otherwise. (Rock M Nation)
Setting records of some kind with every victory. Can they make it to the end of the season without a loss?(A Sea of Blue)
With all of the talk about how Arkansas will be the team to ruin Kentucky's perfect season, I expect the Wildcats to come out fired up and come away with a convincing win. (Roll Bama Roll)
High ceiling, low floor, wild inconsistency. As likely to win the SEC Tourney as they are to crash out on Thursday. (Good Bull Hunting)
Hang on, I'm still replaying that between-the-legs dunk.(Anchor of Gold)
They'll go dancing, but winning 2 of their final 3 to get some good momentum going would be nice for arguably the second most talented team in the SEC. (Dawg Sports)
Have come back to earth after that shocking run of midconference schedule competence but are still the most improved team in the league since December.(College and Magnolia)
Real talk, I think it's a mistake if Mississippi State fires Rick Ray. He's still got those guys fighting and they're getting better. The entire program has improved year after year.(Rock M Nation)
Just a mediocre basketball team. Sadly, this is the high point of the Rick Ray era.(Roll Bama Roll)
Please don't upset us. Please don't upset us. Pretty please, with whipped cream and sprinkles on top.(Dawg Sports)
They finally won a game. In the end, it was just nice to get that monkey off their back. Doubt too much momentum comes from that with a trip to Georgia looming. (Rock M Nation)
Big victory over Florida, even a sub-standard Florida, has to make them feel better after a tough season. Kudos for not giving up like... well, okay, Florida. (A Sea of Blue)
Hitting the road against a desperate and dangerous LSU squad... they could drop out of the top 4.(Good Bull Hunting)
The Rebels better be careful, as the rest of the season will be pretty tricky. Obviously, the road trip to Baton Rouge looms large, but playing Alabama in Tuscaloosa and then suddenly hot Vanderbilt will not be an easy task. Perfect situation for some #FEVER to return.(Roll Bama Roll)
They lost to Georgia twice, in case @OleMiss_Logo wants to know why I have Georgia ranked ahead of them. (Anchor of Gold)
Can't shoot straight. Hard to win that way. (A Sea of Blue)
Sooner or later questions start getting asked of Frank Martin. I'll let you ask him though, cause he's kind of scary.(Dawg Sports)
A lot of fight, not a lot of points. (Rock M Nation)
A lot of dissolving teams get compared to the Titanic but Tennessee feels more like the Edmund Fitzgerald because they didn't even have time to send an SOS before they sank. (College and Magnolia)
A team that can beat anybody – but isn't. (A Sea of Blue)
The basketball gods seem to be punishing Tyndall for wearing that horrific Creamsicle orange blazer. (Anchor of Gold)
We wouldn't have thought they'd land this high, but then the classic retort "scoreboard" still applies. (Dawg Sports)
The Aggies have a much easier homestretch than most of the SEC top six. If they take care of business at home, they'll land a coveted double-bye in Nashville. (Good Bull Hunting)
Damn near completed the comeback of all comebacks in Fayetteville after getting bombed out of there in the first half. (Rock M Nation)
The only thing making more noise than the suddenly hot 'Dores is Kevin Stallings in the post-game handshake line. (Roll Bama Roll)
An NCAA team next year... assuming half the roster doesn't leave in the offseason.(Anchor of Gold)
You've taken that first step NCAA, time to take a second one...c'mon, it'll feel good...move those benches...MOVE THE BENCHES! (Rock M Nation)
There it is! Another week in the SEC down, only a few to go. We've got the best SEC basketball weekend of the year coming up, so clear your schedule, and sit back and enjoy the games, it's almost March!