Outside of South Carolina, the top 3rd of the SEC is just taking care of business, while the bottom half is mostly falling flat.
1) Kentucky (10-1 RPI: 5) - Malik Monk scored 47 points as the Wildcats and Tar Heels played no defense on Saturday. Can’t knock Kentucky at this point.
2) Florida (8-3 RPI: 4) - Beating Charlotte won’t move the needle, but the Gators now have a top 5 RPI.
3) Arkansas (9-1 RPI: 25) - Arkansas escaped Houston with a win over a Texas squad that given some time to mature could be really good. Their defense at times seemed to completely flummox the Hogs, but Arkansas got the win and moves up in the Power Rankings also by virtue of a South Carolina loss. I just want to say, my favorite moment of Saturday’s game was Dusty shooting the gap, getting a steal, and taking it the other way for an easy lay-in.
4) South Carolina (9-1 RPI: 14) - South Carolina won on the road at South Florida Saturday, but they drop this week after failing to notch a win in their only chance to get a top 50 RPI win last Monday. Though, it must be said the Gamecocks had the game tied with 17 seconds left.
5) Georgia (7-3 RPI: 48) - The Bulldogs took care of business this week against two teams that couldn’t come close to challenging them. Georgia has only played one true road game up until this point. With two games on the road this week, Georgia is looking to pad the resume a little bit before starting SEC play.
6) Ole Miss (7-3 RPI: 39) - Ole Miss was up by 20 in the second half against Murray State, but a bad Racer team managed to get things to within 4 with 17 seconds left. Ole Miss moves up by virtue of not losing.
7) Texas A&M (7-3 RPI: 50) - Another week, another quality loss for the Aggies. Arizona only needed three 3-pointers to beat the Aggies. Texas A&M has a strong RPI thanks to quality losses. With no good opponents left in the non-conference, A&M has a lot of work to do in SEC play to make the tournament. I doubt they have another 13 SEC win season left in them to do it.
8) Auburn (8-2 RPI: 56) - Auburn has the worst loss in the SEC. At the end of the season, they will probably be better than a few teams ahead of them, but I can’t excuse losing even on a last second tip in to BC.
9) LSU (7-2 RPI: 85) - LSU's week had two resume improving wins. More impressively they had a two week layoff and were down by 7 points before beating North Carolina Central.
10) Vanderbilt (6-5 RPI:73) - Somehow Chattanooga makes these Tennessee schools look good. I still don’t have high hopes for this Vanderbilt squad.
11) Tennessee (6-5 RPI: 127) - Everybody from here on out lost this week, but Tennessee had the BEST loss! Tennessee trailed most of the game, but roared back to within 4 points with less than 3 minutes left in the game, but the Bulldogs went on to win by 10. Barnes is putting this young Tennessee team through a lot, and only Florida may be more battle tested when SEC play starts.
12) Alabama (5-5 RPI: 142) - Avery Johnson’s second season in Tuscaloosa continues to underwhelm. The Tide won against South Carolina Upstate this week, but they only scored 19 points in the first half against Clemson on Sunday and lost the game by 13.
13) Mississippi St. (6-3 RPI: 190) - Mississippi St. joined Auburn in losing on a late tip-in this week. The Bulldogs have Southern Mississippi, Morehead State, and UMKC left on the schedule before starting SEC play. Hopefully they can avoid any more land mines.
14) Missouri (5-5 RPI: 224) - Eastern Illinois is the worst loss for Missouri this season. Still, I won’t be shocked if the Tigers somehow beat Illinois on Wednesday.