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The SEC Basketball season is here

Is SECBasketballFever real? Maybe, I’ve caught it!

Syndication: Tuscaloosa News Gary Cosby Jr.-The Tuscaloosa News / USA TODAY NETWORK

Who’s ready for some SEC on SEC action?

Full disclosure here, I wrote all the team capsules first and I’m already over the amount of words I wanted for this piece so I’m going to just jump right to the gist of it and not dilly-dally around. SEC league play tips off today at 11:30 am with the Kentucky Wildcats at the Florida Gators. With things finally hitting the table, I figured we’d get caught up on what the rest of the league has been up to in the non-conference so you kind of know who is where.

Here’s a quick rundown of the rest of the league starting with the highest rated KenPom.com ranked teams:

6. Alabama: 8-5
Alabama has racked up 5 losses, that is correct and not a misprint. They are still 6th in KenPom despite those losses. The main reason for that is because they have been awesome offensively, but just okay on defense. The Tide have losses against Ohio State, Clemson, Purdue, Creighton, and Arizona. Nate Oats scheduled aggressively and none of those losses are bad losses with Ohio State being the “worst” team in that group and currently 29th in the rankings. The problem is the Tide’s best win is over Oregon (51st) and they only have three top 100 wins.

7. Tennessee: 10-3
Tennessee had a rough trip to Maui where they lost to Purdue, and Kansas after beating Syracuse. Then a trip to North Carolina proved unfruitful, but wins over Wisconsin and Illinois have held up, with the Vols taking care of business in the rest of their buy games. The early star in Knoxville is Northern Colorado transfer Dalton Knecht who has bolstered UTs weakness with his scoring punch, averaging 15.6 points per game.

10. Auburn: 11-2
A bit of a surprise this high up the rankings, the Tigers opened the season with a neutral court loss to Baylor, and took some lumps in a true road game at Appalacian State, but otherwise have run roughshod over the rest of their schedule. They beat USC at home by double digits, Virginia Tech at home by the same, and have neutral court double digit wins over Notre Dame and St. Bonaventure. Johni Broome has been great, but Auburns bench minutes rank 9th in the country and their depth has been the deciding factor early on.

19. Kentucky: 10-2
The ‘Cats have gone back to the Calipar comfort zone and have been running out a truckload of talented freshmen. But the surprise star isn’t a 5-star freshmen but a mid-4 star point guard in legacy Reed Sheppard who’s been an efficiency monster and a pest defensively. With losses to Kansas in the Champions Classic and a weird home loss to UNC Wilmington, Kentucky has been a little overlooked but they’ve taken down Miami and North Carolina and could be a darkhorse favorite for the league if you can ever call UK a darkhorse.

22. Texas A&M: 9-4
Our preseason pick to win the league, A&M has been a bit “disappointing” since they’ve lose four games, but none of those are bad losses. FAU on a neutral when the Owls shot the lights out, Virginia on the road, Memphis (Mizzou fans know how tough Memphis is), and a neutral court loss to top 5 Houston. Just three good wins over Ohio State, Iowa State, and SMU, but Wade Taylor has been really good and the Aggies will still be a very difficult team to take down in conference.

28. Mississippi State: 11-2
State seems to have sort of figured out their scoring issues. Maybe not entirely, but enough to complement their still stingy defense. MSU navigated a tough but not crazy non-con and only lost two games, inexplicably to Georgia Tech and Southern in back to back games. they do have four other top 100 wins, and Tolu Smith has been cleared to play, and put up 16 points in 19 minutes against Bethune Cookman on New Years Eve.

35. Florida: 10-3
The Gators are another team who have benefitted from a fairly soft non-conference slate. Five top 100 games but only 1 game inside the top 40, and no wins inside the top 53 with their best win being over Pitt on a neutral court. They get an tough early test at home against Kentucky, but the Gators do look like they should be NCAA tournament worthy this season.

59. Arkansas: 9-4
The Razorbacks are quite possibly the most disappointing team through non-conference play, as they entered the season as many people’s pick to win the league. Starting at 14th in KenPom the plummet has largely been due to a leakier than usual defense, something that hasn’t been a problem under Eric Musselman. A loss to UNC Greenboro isn’t great, but losses to Memphis, North Carolina, and Oklahoma (all on neutral courts) isn’t too bad. I still think the Hogs could surprise in league play and they get an intriguing home opener against Auburn.

61. South Carolina: 12-1
This is both surprising but not wholly unexpected. The Gamecocks rolled out a soft as charmin non-conference slate, and to their credit they didn’t lose the games! Their only loss came on the road at Clemson, but they have just two top 100 wins and just one over a power conference team in the top 100 in Virginia Tech. They have a tough three game opening stretch as well with MSU at home, then Alabama and Missouri on the road.

82. Ole Miss: 13-0
If you weren’t paying attention you might not notice that the Rebels are undefeated and ranked in the top 25 in the AP Poll. I pointed out in their preview that new head coach Chris Beard rarely schedules tough non-con games and this held up with 10 games outside the top 100 and 9 home games. They did beat Memphis at home, and took down a not-bad UCF team on the road but they get a rude awakening to conference play getting sent to Knoxville. We should figure out quickly if the AP Poll or the analytics numbers are more accurate of what this Ole Miss team is.

85. Georgia: 10-3
Mike White went young and it’s seemingly paid off. After losing 3 of their first 5 games all against top 50 level teams, Georgia has now won 8 games in a row. Zero of those wins coming against a top 100 team. But the foundation of his roster looks pretty good with point guard Silas Demary starting all 13 games and Blue Cain playing a healthy share of minutes.

89. Missouri: 8-5
You know the story here.

106. LSU: 8-5
Things have been disappointing again in Baton Rouge as Matt McMahon tried to patch his roster together through the transfer portal. Early losses to Nicholls State and Dayton, plus embarrassing losses to Syracuse and a mediocre Kansas State team haven’t aged well. They’re hoping Jalen Cook being cleared to play now will help them out of the cellar and improve the offense.

203. Vanderbilt: 5-8
Just where Jerry Stackhouse wants it... with everyone thinking he can’t do it, right? Vandy has struggled, the offseason moves haven’t helped. The offense has been rough and the defense has been worse. They were hoping for a breakout season from Colin Smith and he’s out for the year with an injury. There was hope of a breakout season for Ven-Allen Lubin but he’s been banged up. It’s all bad in Nashville with only Ezra Manjon and Tyrin Lawrence being able to muster much of anything and Lawrence has struggled to be efficient.

Missouri takes on Georgia today at noon.

Missouri-Georgia Basketball: Time, Location

TIME: 12:00 p.m. CT

DATE: Saturday, January 6, 2024

LOCATION: Mizzou Arena; Columbia, MO.

Missouri-Georgia Hoops: Follow the game, TV Channel

TELEVISION: SEC Network

STREAM: WatchESPN

TWITTER: @MizzouHoops

FACEBOOK: MizzouHoops

ESPN+: ROCKMNATION

Missouri-Georgia Basketball: Betting odds, predictions

As of Friday evening, Missouri is a 5-point favorite over Georgia, according to DraftKing’s Sportsbook. The total points (over/under) is 148. KenPom has 85th rated Georgia as a 3 point underdog to 89th rated Mizzou with a score prediction of 74-71.

College Basketball Games to Watch, January 6, 2024

Time (CT) Visitor Odds Home Odds O/U TV
Time (CT) Visitor Odds Home Odds O/U TV
11:00 AM Marquette (7) -5 Seton Hall 144.5 CBSSN
11:00 AM North Carolina (8) Clemson (16) -2.5 159.5 ESPN2
11:00 AM Mississippi State -2.5 South Carolina 136 CBS
11:30 AM Kentucky (6) Florida -2 169 ESPN
12:00 PM Georgia Missouri -3.5 148 SECN
1:00 PM TCU Kansas (2) -9 152 CBS
1:00 PM West Virginia Houston (3) -21 134.5 ESPN+
1:00 PM Providence (23) Creighton -11 139 FS1
1:00 PM Auburn (25) -2.5 Arkansas 157 ESPN
1:15 PM Nebraska Wisconsin (21) -6.5 144.5 BTN
2:00 PM Baylor (18) -4.5 Oklahoma State 147.5 ESPN+
2:00 PM James Madison (19) -8 Southern Miss 156.5 ESPN+
2:30 PM Alabama Vanderbilt NL SECN
3:00 PM Florida Atlantic (17) -8.5 Charlotte 137.5 ESPN+
5:00 PM Ole Miss (22) Tennessee (5) -12 142.5 SECN
5:00 PM Iowa State Oklahoma (11) -2.5 142.5 ESPN+
5:00 PM Duke (14) -14 Notre Dame 133.5 ACCN
7:00 PM Utah Arizona (10) -13.5 164.5 PAC12
7:00 PM Texas Tech Texas (20) -7 142.5 ESPN2
7:30 PM LSU Texas A&M -13 146.5 SECN
8:00 PM Colorado State (13) Utah State -2 151.5
8:00 PM San Diego Gonzaga (24) -22.5 155.5 ESPN+
9:00 PM Cincinnati BYU (12) -9.5 151.5 ESPN2