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Sam's SEC Power Rankings v11.0: Pre-Tournament

Each week, our own HHKB Chris has done a great job of setting up and compiling the SEC Basketball Power Rankings. Each week, I participate with my own take. I thought it would be a good idea to show you my ballot each week so you can see what I'm thinking when I submit my picks.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

With the regular season wrapped up it's nice to have the standings accurately reflect what we all think the power rankings should look like. There really isn't a ton of room for debate on these, other than with the unbalanced schedule, not having that round robin will leave some room for debate of the toughness of the schedule on some teams with the same record. For example of the 11-7 teams, only Georgia played Kentucky twice and only Georgia got swept by South Carolina. Which makes sense.

Outside of Kentucky, it was pretty clear that despite their most recent loss to LSU that Arkansas was the #2 team (another team that only played Kentucky once). So Georgia, Mizzou, Alabama, Florida, and South Carolina all had the privilege of two automatic losses on their schedule. And all 5 of those teams really probably could have used one more winnable game on their schedule. Being a Mizzou writer, I'm a little biased in thinking that this team REALLY could have stood one less game with Kentucky, as both occurred during the long 13 game losing streak and just one more chance to win a game that wasn't against the best team in the country might have helped stop that and get them to 2-3 more wins during the year. Something, at least, to build on going into the offseason.

With that said, the second to last version of the Hoops power rankings.


Listed is the rank, team and record, with their KenPom ranking and rating, their RPI ranking and score, and their BPI rank and score. Followed by me being quippy.

1. Kentucky 31-0 (18-0)
KenPom Sagarin BPI
Rank 1 1 1
Score .9785 100.10 95.2

Each game a new test passed for the Wildcats. Can they carry this all the way?

2. Arkansas 24-7 (13-5)
KenPom Sagarin BPI
Rank 30 27 22
Score .8335 85.08 80.0

Despite the home loss to LSU, Arky is the clear #2 team, and Mike Anderson has his best team in Fayetteville since he's been there. Is this the return of the Hogs or will Portis and Qualls bolt leaving another rebuilding project next year?

3. Georgia 21-10 (11-7)
KenPom Sagarin BPI
Rank 38 38 30
Score .8240 83.54 77.7

A healthy Bulldogs team is a tough team to beat moving forward. Efficient on offense, tough on Defense. Will they get a second crack at the Wildcats?

4. LSU 22-9 (11-7)
KenPom Sagarin BPI
Rank 41 41 41
Score .8142 82.90 75.3

I hate this team.

5. Ole Miss 20-11 (11-7)
KenPom Sagarin BPI
Rank 45 46 36
Score .8083 82.37 76.0

Ole Miss is a hot team, but 3 of 4 leaves them in the same boat as A&M, wondering if they did enough to make the NCAA Tournament.

6. Texas A&M 20-10 (11-7)
KenPom Sagarin BPI
Rank 46 50 35
Score .8045 82.10 76.1

Said the same about Ole Miss, losing 3 of their last 4 isn't a good look for a team that felt good about their tournament chances just a few weeks ago.

7. Vanderbilt 19-12 (9-9)
KenPom Sagarin BPI
Rank 40 54 34
Score .8214 81.90 76.2

Pretty good turnaround this year after a 7 game losing streak, Stallings kept the young guys together now Vandy is looking like a dark horse in the SEC tournament.

8. Alabama 18-13 (8-10)
KenPom Sagarin BPI
Rank 58 60 58
Score .7711 80.86 71.0

Is middle of the pack in the SEC enough to keep Anthony Grant in his position at Bama? I doubt it. He's had 6 years and they still can't score.

9. Florida 15-16 (8-10)
KenPom Sagarin BPI
Rank 47 47 39
Score .7997 82.33 75.7

Tough year for the Gators. Get to the offseason and regroup, pretty sure Coach Donovan will have them back at the top of the SEC before too long.

10. South Carolina 15-15 (6-12)
KenPom Sagarin BPI
Rank 64 68 69
Score .7574 79.96 68.7

4-4 in their last 8 is hopefully a sign of changing time for Frank Martin who has been fighting an uphill battle for a while in Columbia East.

11. Tennessee 15-15 (7-11)
KenPom Sagarin BPI
Rank 94 87 91
Score .6575 77.78 64.3

Vols fooled people for a while, but just became the latest in a long line of bad teams to take down LSU.

12. Mississippi State 13-18 (6-12)
KenPom Sagarin BPI
Rank 169 144 137
Score .4911 73.72 56.2

Curious if progress this year is enough to save Rick Rays job, but no doubt that things are looking better in Starkville

13. Auburn 12-19 (4-14)
KenPom Sagarin BPI
Rank 165 150 152
Score .5015 73.32 54.3

KT Harrell went out guns blazing and probably deserved a better season, but Pearl has a long way to go to rebuild that roster.

14. Missouri 9-22 (3-15)
KenPom Sagarin BPI
Rank 203 177 175
Score .4201 71.55 49.8

A couple wins late in the season isn't enough to get them out of the basement of the league, but will hopefully buoy just a little bit of confidence as a pretty talented young team heads into the offseason.

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KenPom, because it's awesome and the best:

I try to measure skills based on the opportunities for those skills to be observed. On the team level, this often means ratings the offense (and defense) on points scored (and allowed) per possession. That is the basis for the ratings system. If you're looking for info on what the columns mean on the ratings mean, please continue. If you don't like the ratings, wonder why I have your team too low, or wonder why the ratings don't look like the AP top 25, go here. (For information on preseason ratings, see this and this and this.)

RPI, the NCAA selection committee uses this:

The RPI (Rating Percentage Index) is a measure of strength of schedule and how a team does against that schedule. Created in 1981, the RPI is a tool used in selecting and seeding the 68 teams for the NCAA Men's basketball Division I tournament. RPI data includes games against Division I schools only.

I decided that the RPI is too stupid to keep using, so I'm switching to Sagarin.

Sagarin, because it's similar to KenPom:

The overall RATING is a synthesis of the three different methods, with more total weight to the two completely SCORE-BASED methods and thus should be a good predictor in its own right.

BPI, Joe Lunardi uses this:

The Basketball Power Index (BPI) is a team rating system that accounts for the final score, pace of play, site, strength of opponent and absence of key players in every Division I men's game. BPI can be used to measure both how well a team has performed (going far beyond just wins and losses) and how powerful it is likely to be going forward.