5 wins for the Big 10 and 5 wins for the SEC means a draw right? While Arkansas was pummeled a few SEC teams were punching a bit above their weight and managed to give the SEC a 5-5 record this weekend.
Tuesday night last week was a wild night in college Basketball with the #1, #2, and #4 teams all losing in the same night as Villanova lost to Marquette, Kansas lost at West Virginia, and Kentucky lost at Tennessee. Those games definitely overshadowed the come from behind victory for the Hogs, but I think that’s okay. This Arkansas team doesn’t really need any hype given their up and down nature.
1) Kentucky (17-4, 5-1, RPI: 8) - Kentucky loses both games this week, but doesn’t drop. The #4 team losing to unranked Tennessee is one thing, but losing to #2 Kansas at home isn’t going to hurt the Wildcat’s resume. I think the biggest knock you can put on Kentucky right now is that they start off games very strong and tend to fade in the 2nd half. Big week for Kentucky playing Georgia and Florida.
2) South Carolina (17-4, 7-1, RPI: 19) - South Carolina played Mizzou instead of a Big 12 opponent this weekend, and while Auburn and Mizzou aren’t impressive wins, they still get the edge over Florida thanks to their win two weeks ago.
3) Florida (16-5, 6-2, RPI: 9) - Oklahoma and LSU were both outside of the top 100 RPI this week when Florida handily dealt with them. Oklahoma is kinda bad. Florida can really make some noise if they can hang with Kentucky this weekend.
4) Arkansas (16-5, 5-3, RPI: 28) - No one feels like Arkansas should actually be moving up after Saturday’s performance. A win in Stillwater would’ve made Arkansas a much more appealing NCAA tournament team, but a loss despite the one-sided nature doesn’t change the goals or expectations for the rest of 2017. Mike Anderson has allowed teams to slip off of a precipice at this point in the season before, but the schedule may give the Hogs a chance to bounce back.
5) Georgia (13-8, 5-4, RPI: 51) - I gave Georgia a pass after the clock operator robbed them in Aggieland, but the Bulldogs responded by letting Bama win by 20 (it doesn’t help when your coach gets ejected in the first half). As Arkansas knows, a win over Texas doesn’t count for much. Georgia is running out of time to make a case for the NCAA tournament, and it might already be over. They’re about to enter a 6 game stretch where they could easily end up going 0-6 playing on the road at Kentucky, South Carolina, and Tennessee and hosting Florida, Mississippi State, and Kentucky. If the Bulldogs come out of that stretch with 4 wins it’ll be very impressive
6) Tennessee (12-9, 4-4, RPI: 42) -
Tennessee had a ho hum week. Wow! Tennessee picked up two top 50 RPI wins this week, and one was a top ten win over Kentucky. The Vols did not fade down the stretch and got a signature win. They return a trip to Kentucky on Valentine’s Day, so we’ll have to see if they can maintain the momentum.
7) Alabama (13-7, 6-2, RPI: 64) - Alabama has won 8 of their last 10 games. The win over Georgia by 20 is impressive, but as I said before, Mark Fox got ejected in the first half, and that sparked a big run by Alabama. Bama was also left out of the Big 12 crossover, so they only have SEC games left to try to make any noise in March. Hopefully, Arkansas is ready to host the Crimson Tide on Wednesday. This could be a big game for Alabama and Coach Avery Johnson.
8) Ole Miss (12-9, 3-5, RPI: 72) - Ole Miss... missed their chance. Two close losses this week for the Rebels. With the game tied at 73-73, Ole miss lost the final 84 seconds 7-1 hosting the Aggies at home. They had a halftime lead over Baylor, but gave that lead up halfway through the 2nd half. Still, the Rebel Black Bears had a lead with only 2:24 left in the game, but couldn’t match the Baylor Bears down the stretch.
9) Auburn (14-7, 3-5, RPI: 58) - Auburn got blown out by South Carolina, but turned around a got a nice win at TCU on Saturday. Auburn managed to get TCU’s bigs in foul trouble and that allowed Freshman Center Wiley to have a huge 25 point outing.
10) Mississippi State (13-7, 4-4, RPI: 110) - Mississippi State drops a little this week, but it’s not because of what they did, it’s just that some other teams in front of them were a little more impressive. I pretty much don’t give any team any credit for beating LSU or Mizzou at this point.
11) Vanderbilt (10-11, 3-5, RPI: 54) - How did we give up a 15 point lead and let Arkansas win? WE BEAT IOWA STATE!!! WE BEAT IOWA STATE!!!! This is a weird Vanderbilt team. In all seriousness, Vandy had another 15 point lead in their game against Iowa State. They were a lot more patient on offense and used what they had learned from the Arkansas loss to help them beat the Cyclones.
12) Texas A&M (11-9, 3-5, RPI: 76) - A&M had an okay week. The win over Ole Miss is great for Kennedy and the Aggies who broke a 3-game road losing streak, but the game against West Virginia was largely not competitive. A&M scored in a flurry in the final 2 minutes to make the score look decent.
13) LSU (9-11, 1-7, RPI: 131) - 7 game losing streak. Florida went for a 100! Johnny Jones went 19-14 with one of the best players in all of college basketball last season. It’s not surprising that he continues to struggle with his current squad.
14) Missouri (5-15, 0-8, RPI: 251) - 12 game losing streak. Kim and the Tigers were once 5-3. Now I know how people felt about us back in the Pelphrey years.