1. Florida (9-2, RPI 14, LW: 1) Next game: Dec. 29 vs. Savannah State
Back-to-back RPI top 50 wins for Florida helps keep the Gators on top of the power rankings for Christmas
2. Kentucky (9-3, RPI 23, LW: 2) Next game: Dec. 28 vs. Louisville
Following a solid win over Belmont, the Wildcats have a chance for a high caliber win against in-state rival Kentucky in their last non-conference game of the regular season.
3. LSU (8-2, RPI 19, LW: T-4) Next game: Dec. 28 vs. McNeese State
A good win over UAB (who defeated North Carolina earlier this year) helps bump the Tigers up to the third spot. It will be interesting to watch their RPI fall over their next two games against RPI 250+ teams.
4. Arkansas (9-2, RPI 30, LW: T-4) Next game: Dec. 28 vs. High Point
Minnesota has been a huge RPI saver for the Razorbacks. The Golden Gophers are now a RPI top 25 win, after being in the mid-60s for the majority of December. (Editor's Note: Did anyone else see previous-tough-Arkansas-opponent Louisiana-Lafayette lose at the buzzer to Jackson State? And who hit the shot for JSU? Julysses Nobles! Nice of the former Hog point guard to give his old team's RPI a little kick in the balls.)
5. Missouri (10-1, RPI 35, LW: 3) Next game: Dec. 28 at North Carolina State
I usually don’t believe in dropping a team after a 1-point loss against a good team, but besides UCLA, Missouri has no other RPI top 100 wins.
NIT team #1. Ole Miss (8-3, RPI 87, LW: 7) Next game: Dec. 30 at Western Kentucky
I’m still shaking my head after that loss to Mercer, which RPI wise isn’t that bad of a loss. However, it’s still Mercer.
NIT team #2. Tennessee (6-4, RPI 92, LW: 6) Next game: Dec. 23 vs Morehead State
This is easily the most disappointing team in the conference. No reason for a team with this much talent to be 6-4 against the schedule they have played. I wonder if Jarnell Stokes regrets not coming to Arkansas.
NIT team #3. Vanderbilt (7-3, RPI 59, LW: T-8) Next game: Dec. 30 vs. St. Louis
A victory over St. Louis would be a huge win for Vandy. They need that win if they want to have any chance at the NCAA Tournament.
CBI team #1. Mississippi State (9-2, RPI 136, LW: 11) Next game: Dec. at UNLV
The Bulldogs are 3-0 vs. the state of Florida, but I bet they lose by 30 when they play the Florida Gators on Jan. 30.
CBI team #2. Texas A&M (8-3, RPI 182, LW: 10) Next game: Dec. 31 vs North Texas
If there is an award for most wins over a RPI 200+ teams, the Aggies will win it.
11. Alabama (4-6, RPI 109, LW: T-8) Next game: Dec. 28 at UCLA
They simply scheduled too many non-conference games that they can’t win. Roll tide.
12. South Carolina (3-5, RPI 81, LW: 12) Next game: Dec. 23 at Boise State
The Gamecocks are the definition of #SECbasketballfever after losing at home to USC-Upstate and then going on the road defeating Saint Mary’s.
13. Auburn (6-3, RPI 183, LW: 14) Next game: Dec. 30 vs. Arkansas Pine-Bluff
It’s hard to believe they are 2-0 vs. the ACC. Neat! Now the most Auburn basketball thing to do is lose to UAPB at home.
14. Georgia (6-4, RPI 273, LW: 13) Next game: Dec. 28 at Colorado
If you’re at a Christmas party this holiday season and a Georgia basketball fan is there, let them be first in the egg nog line.
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