The SEC closed out its regular season as it began, with Kentucky sitting atop the league and heading to this year’s SEC tournament as your top seed. In the meantime, many teams went to the brink of irrelevance and an offseason lacking tournament play, but the SEC will boast at least four teams in this year’s field and that’s progress. In other places, new beginnings are already underway, and hope is starting to emerge like a 17 year cicada. Catch up with the past week in the SEC and use this as your tourney primer.
The top of the SEC at this point all look to be ready to slide into their dancing shoes and what happens in Nashville is but a mere formality. To close out the season, Kentucky and Florida staged the biggest game in the conference season and it did not disappoint. Florida led for a good portion of the game before Kentucky turned it on and ended up with a good win. However, over the past two weeks UK has looked rather ordinary, and not quite March ready. Meanwhile Florida is ahead of schedule down a big man and still at the top of the table, take note rest of the conference. Joining these two are the Razorbacks. Mike Anderson’s crew has gotten hot and won 6 out of 7 games with only a road loss to Florida in the mix. All three teams are sitting on double byes and will await the winners of Wednesday and Thursday’s early round games to find out who they will be looking to beat in Nashville.
Tier 2 has two teams that could be making noise not only in Nashville but in March. South Carolina has kind of limped into the end of the season, just getting by on fumes and looking rather ordinary all at the same time. Kind of like a runner who just drops at the finish line. SC lost their final game of the season to Ole Miss, but did manage to sneak by State earlier in the week so it wasn’t all bad for the Cocks. Now the intriguing team in the whole of the SEC. Vanderbilt suffered a come from ahead loss to Kentucky (which as stated above is the new norm) and completed the sweep of the Gators to end Bryce Drew’s first season in charge at Devil Court U. The Commodores have one of the toughest strength of schedule in the nation and with a good showing in Nashville, could potentially sneak into the first four conversation as they did last year. Keep an eye on Vandy this week, they’ve got the games “at home” (Kentucky South) and are playing well enough that they could get the SEC a fifth bid and wouldn’t that be just delightful?
Headlining the teams playing for the NIT (most likely) are the Rebels of Ole Miss who had as disjointed a season as you’d expect, but did come in above .500 throwing many of our voters off kilter. Following Ole Miss is Georgia, probably the most disappointing team this year with a ton of “what ifs” attached to their season. The Dawgs, once they lost Maten, we’re going to have issues, and at this point are just playing out the season presumably for Mark Fox’s job. But who knows, this team still has JJ Frazier and could go on a run this week. Finally, Alabama joins Ole Miss and Georgia, suffering a loss to end the season to Tennessee…a UT team that lost to LSU. Though they did finish above .500 in Avery Johnson’s second season and with the players he has coming in, could be ready to take the next step in year three.
Tennessee lost this past week to LSU. LSU. Let that sink in. Sure Mizzou did that, but who didn’t Mizzou lose to? The fact that they’re ninth is thanks to a win over Bama (THIRD SATURDAY IN OCTOBER) and what follows them. But they lost to LSU and I have no words for that. Joining Tennessee are the Aggies of A&M who had a very disappointing season after last year’s conference title and run to the second weekend of the Tournament. They did play Kentucky close to end their season, but now face a hot Vandy team in Nashville, so Billy Kennedy’s squad could have a short stay in Nashvegas.
Welcome to teams that are just a year away. Both have strong incoming recruiting classes and high profile coaches. Auburn and State still look young and inconsistent but big things are on the horizon. State gets a date with LSU in round one Wednesday night who they just beat, and Auburn gets Mizzou who they just destroyed as well. It’s almost a perfect SEC mess made in heaven.
The bottom where one coach has already been fired. Will Johnny Jones join Kim Anderson on the unemployment line? Time will tell, but it’s probably going to happen minutes after the Tigers get beat by State. Mizzou for their part got whooped by Auburn and their coach got canned and their fans are optimistic for the first time in three years…it’s a weird place to be.
|Team||Points||Ranking||Ranking Last Week||Change||Highest Pick||Lowest Pick|
|Ole Miss||76||6th||7th||Up 1||5th||8th|
Points were distributed as follows: 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
I look up and Alabama is the five seed which is weird because they didn't look that good either time I watched them play a whole game this year. (College and Magnolia)
Played their way out. Still finished higher than most expected. Can't consistently score for 40 minutes. (Garnet and Black Attack)
Somehow managed to play all of the bottom four teams in the SEC twice each, which seems completely fair. (Anchor of Gold)
Arkansas all but locked up an NCAA tournament bid but until the final stretch of the season, they had wins over fluff teams and not much else. I'm not exactly convinced the Hogs won't get bounced in the first weekend. (Orange and White Report)
The overall body of work is close, but the Hogs get my #3 spot due to their recent form and the win at South Carolina. (Good Bull Hunting)
Hey Mike Anderson. MIKE ANDERSON! That job where you wanted to retire is now open again…just saying…(Rock M Nation)
Maybe next year's class will be the one that can start winning, unlike last year, or the year before. (Dawg Sports)
If Auburn could play Alabama, LSU, and Missouri every week, what a season we would have had! (College and Magnolia)
Did you know that they've played on Wednesday night of the SEC Tournament every year since the five-day format started? (Anchor of Gold)
Michael White might know a thing or two if you ask me. (Red Cup Rebellion)
Florida's second feels closer to third than firs after that loss to Vandy. (College and Magnolia)
The SEC is still a completely top heavy league. There's Kentucky and Florida and a bunch of posers. (Orange and White Report)
After a brief stay in the bottom four, Georgia finished 5-2 and scared the daylights out of Kentucky @ Rupp. Kudos for a strong finish to an otherwise forgettable season. (Good Bull Hunting)
In the words of the great character Andrew Steyn, "I don't want to talk about it." (Dawg Sports)
J.J. Frazier is going to ruin someone's week in Nashville. (Red Cup Rebellion)
John Calipari finally figured it out. (Red Cup Rebellion)
It's almost like they never really left. (Dawg Sports)
Apparently this team likes to play from behind, and that tends to ALWAYS work out in March. (Rock M Nation)
They won a game! /stephencolbertwedidit.gif (Anchor of Gold)
A wild win over Tennessee appeared! (Good Bull Hunting)
Thankfully no one took "he'll last through the entire season" in the Johnny Pool. (Dawg Sports)
1-7 in February but 1-0 in March. (Garnet and Black Attack)
Had the same number of wins in their first four SEC games as in their last 14. That's not good. (Dawg Sports)
A 3-9 stretch to finish the season... with two of those wins coming at home against Mizzou and LSU. (Good Bull Hunting)
Due to our Big XII history, I've seen plenty of A&M road games at Mizzou, and I have to say... it really bummed me out to see that atmosphere for Senior Day. That building has been absolutely rocking in the past, and it will be again, but this was a fitting end to a really poor era. (Good Bull Hunting)
It was reported recently that several big money donors for Mizzou have been pushing for Lorenzo Romar as the next head coach, in other news, several big money donors for Mizzou are very stupid and apparently don’t watch basketball. (Rock M Nation)
Presumably fired Kim Anderson today to make sure they wouldn't get Felton'd. (Anchor of Gold)
Their victory over South Carolina to finish at 10-8 (instead of 9-9) might be the biggest surprise, for me. If you can't believe in Ole Miss finishing .500, what CAN you believe in? (Good Bull Hunting)
Sebastian Saiz deserved better. (Red Cup Rebellion)
Hammered at Alabama to only comeback on beat SC. Did if comfortably for the most part. (Garnet and Black Attack)
Frank Martin has himself quite the schizophrenic squad. (Red Cup Rebellion)
Need to avoid the early loss in Nashville. Unless Thornwell scores 40, no chance of getting into second weekend of NCAA tournament. (Garnet and Black Attack)
Shocking fact of the week: they haven't won an NCAA Tournament game in 44 years. (Anchor of Gold)
Losing to LSU is like getting fired on your day off for stealing boxes. (Rock M Nation)
Tennessee collapsed down the stretch but got a nice win over Alabama to slightly get back on track. Does that make them better than Alabama in the long run? Who knows? (Orange and White Report)
Any team can have a bubble burst; Tennessee took theirs to Baton Rouge and watched it explode like the Abita brewery and turn to ash like the Hubig Pie factory. (College and Magnolia)
Beat Bama and put up a good fight against Kentucky. (Garnet and Black Attack)
Road Kentucky did road Kentucky things, and A&M missed a golden opportunity to put a cherry on top of the most bland, boring sundae you can possibly imagine. (Good Bull Hunting)
Just may have played well enough down the stretch to keep Billy Kennedy from getting fired. And the rest of the SEC likes that. You should think about why for a minute, Aggies. (Dawg Sports)
Vandy closed strong and is the most likely team outside the top 4 to win the tournament. (College and Magnolia)
It's funny how a coaching change makes 17-14 seem palatable. (Anchor of Gold)
They’re going to win SEC tournament aren’t they? (Rock M Nation)
And that will do it for the regular season. The SEC seems to pride itself on it’s uknowable nature, so with that in mind, let’s hope for a fun and unpredictable few days in Nashville.
See you next week for the final time this season, it’s been fun!