1. Florida 17-2 (6-0), RPI 5, LW: 1
The Gators are in the hunt for a 1 seed in the tournament. They shouldn’t have a problem with anyone besides Kentucky in conference play. Currently, Joe Lunardi has them as the 2 seed in the Midwest Region and playing their first round game in Orlando.
2. Kentucky 15-4, (5-1), RPI 12, LW: 2
The latest bracket released by CBS had the Wildcats as a 6 seed, which made it lose all credibility in my book. Kentucky is a 4 seed, at the worst, right now and Lunardi has them as a 2 seed in the West Region.
3. Ole Miss 14-5, (5-1), RPI 57, LW: 3
What the Rebels lack on their résumé is a RPI top 50 win and there aren’t many opportunities left on their schedule to get one. For them to make the tournament, I think they must win at Tennessee, home against Missouri, and defeat either Florida or Kentucky once. The committee will look over their loss to Mississippi State because Marshall Henderson was suspended. Joe Lunardi doesn’t even have them in his "next four out" but I think they are in that category.
4. Georgia 10-8 (4-2), RPI 116, LW: 5
This is going to look like I’m trolling, but I’m not so hear me out. If Georgia keeps up their winning ways in conference, the SEC should reevaluate their view on letting teams play in the CBI. I think the Bulldogs did too poor in non-conference play to make the NIT, but if they finish 10-8/9-9 in conference, the CBI may be interested. It would be a disservice to the 7th best conference in the country to deny teams a chance at post-season play. The Pac-12 is the 3rd best basketball conference and they have let Oregon State play in the CBI three of the last six seasons.
5. Tennessee 12-7 (3-3), RPI 53, LW: 6
Lunardi has them in the "last four byes" category as an 11 seed playing Memphis in the first round in Raleigh. I think the way the Volunteers refuse to play consistently will ultimately have them hosting first round NIT games.
6. LSU 12-6 (3-3), RPI 65, LW: 7
They are hosting Kentucky and Arkansas this week and must win one of those games to just stay alive in the NCAA Tournament hunt. If they lose both, get ready for baseball season.
7. Missouri 15-4 (3-3), RPI 54, LW: 8
It is #HaithWeek in Fayetteville and the Hogs will be ready. This may be the week Tiger fans lost their #FaithinHaith.
8. Alabama 9-10 (3-3), RPI 87, LW: 9
With five of their next seven games on the road, I can’t see the Crimson Tide being in the single digits in the power rankings the rest of the season.
9. Mississippi State 13-6 (3-3), RPI 127, LW: 10
10. Texas A&M 12-7 (3-3), RPI 125, LW: 4
After starting conference play 3-0, the Aggies are on a three game losing streak. They lost to Vanderbilt at home last week, which makes the Razorback’s loss in College Station even worse.
11. Arkansas 13-6 (2-4), RPI 70, LW: 11
While watching them play Auburn over the weekend, I actually thought I was going to die from #SECBasketballFever. Even Nolan Richardson looked like a he was falling victim to the endemic.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Nolan looks like a bored Dad at his son's boys club basketball game. <a href="http://t.co/y2QlkuJVSl">pic.twitter.com/y2QlkuJVSl</a></p>— Ryan Higgins (@rhiggins479) <a href="https://twitter.com/rhiggins479/statuses/427242550580092928">January 26, 2014</a></blockquote>
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12. Vanderbilt 10-8 (2-4), RPI 82, LW: 12
What I wrote about Georgia also applies to the Commodores. The CBI would be a positive for this team.
13. South Carolina 7-12 (0-6), RPI 132, LW: 14
They will fight Auburn for the battle for last place next week, if you have some time to waste.
14. Auburn 8-9 (0-6), RPI 185, LW: 13