Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina all lost this week, but nothing that was big enough for the Hogs to jump them. It’s exciting to see South Carolina bump Florida out of the 2 spot this week, and while we were all hopeful it always seemed doubtful they would do the same to Kentucky.
That being said, Arkansas fans are hoping the SEC is more than a 3-bid league this year, but with Florida and Georgia both losing games they shouldn’t, it’s unclear that it makes the SEC look better or worse than it really is.
1) Kentucky (17-2, 5-0, RPI: 3) - They made Mississippi State on the road seem tougher than hosting South Carolina, but ultimately won both games. South Carolina got the game to within three late in the first half (after a very slow start), but that was as close as they would come. Both the Bulldogs and Gamecocks were down by more than 15 points, but were able to get within 3 after that. Kentucky let these teams have some hope this week.
2) South Carolina (15-4, 5-1, RPI: 20) - South Carolina forced Florida into 17 misses from beyond the arc. They were still down by 7 at half, but Thornwell scored 15 of his 20 points in the second half.
3) Florida (14-5, 5-2, RPI: 10) - Florida had the lead at halftime in both losses this week. Somehow they stayed ranked though. They get a reprieve with LSU and Oklahoma road trips this week.
4) Georgia (12-7, 4-3, RPI: 43) - Georgia did not struggle against Vanderbilt. The clock operator in College Station used an interesting piece of deception to derail the Bulldogs on Saturday. Ignore the fact that Georgia gave up a 13 point lead over the last ten minutes to trail Texas A&M by 1 with 20 seconds left. J.J. Frazier checked the clock as he was dribbling to take the last shot and noticed he had a perpetual 5.6 seconds left, or at least noticed he had enough time to work the ball in to Maten. Maten got fouled under the basket with two shots and a likely tie and overtime, or even a 1-point lead. However, the refs reviewed the playback and determined the game ended before the foul, ballgame Aggies.
5) Arkansas (15-4, 4-3, RPI: 27) - The road has not been kind to the Hogs in recent years, but that’s 2 road wins for Mike Anderson’s 2017 squad. Arkansas won a wild one in College Station. There were some weird no calls, some weird calls, but in the end, Arkansas won. The LSU game was never really close, and Moses Kingsley had his best scoring night of the season. Also, Dusty hit a shot from the U in Bud Walton Arena.
6) Ole Miss (12-7, 3-4, RPI: 45) - Ole Miss won two games this week, and finally had decent 1st half performances. Despite falling behind by 13 in the 2nd half, they were able to get back in the game and use a 12-2 run over the final 2:42 to win the game. Ole Miss actually lost the 2nd half to Mizzou, but won the game due to their first halftime lead in conference play this season.
7) Tennessee (10-9, 3-4, RPI: 58) - Tennessee had a ho hum week. They did get ahead of a few teams that had bad weeks though.
8) Mississippi State (12-6, 3-3, RPI: 108) - I think the Bulldogs took advantage of Arkansas coming off of a loss to Kentucky in their win a few weeks ago, and I think they fell to the same problem this week to Tennessee getting blown out in the 2nd half.
9) Alabama (11-7, 4-2, RPI: 80) - Alabama losing to Auburn has caused them to slip, but their overall body of work keeps them at #9. Still... going from a tie-game with less than 11 minutes left to a 20 point blowout is bad.
10) Auburn (13-6, 3-4, RPI: 67) - The Alabama and LSU wins are certainly a boost for this Auburn team. I was very down on the Tigers when they couldn’t find any SEC wins, but even if they aren’t all pretty wins like the 20 point win over Alabama. As much as I want to keep the Tiger Trio together, Auburn has gone 3-1 in the last two weeks.
11) Vanderbilt (9-10, 3-4, RPI: 55) - WE BEAT FLORIDA! but we lost to Georgia, but WE BEAT FLORIDA. This is a weird Vanderbilt team.
12) Texas A&M (10-8, 2-5, RPI: 90) - I think Texas A&M did a heckuva job getting back in the game against Georgia, and they played really well when they weren’t in a huge scoring drought against Arkansas, but at this point they have a questionable win over Georgia and a win over LSU, which just isn’t enough.
13) LSU (9-9, 1-6, RPI: 122) - 5 game losing streak. LSU was able to get good scoring from their starters, but only had 9 points from their bench and allowed the Hogs to shoot 53% from the floor and 50% from beyond the arc. They also lost to Auburn.
14) Missouri (5-13, 0-6, RPI: 260) - 10 game losing streak. The top 50 RPI losses keep piling up for Missouri. They are keeping some of them close though.