This picture of Avery Johnson is awesome.
Arkansas appears to be the leading SEC team on the NCAA bubble. The Razorbacks have the best chance of being the 4th team from the SEC in the tournament, but there’s a few others with longer odds but could still make it. The NIT is a likely option for many teams, though.
1) Florida (20-5, 10-2, RPI: 10) - Florida was listed as a 3-seed when the NCAA revealed the top 16 seeds on Saturday. Florida took care of Georgia and Mississippi State last week, but there margin for error was much slimmer than the 20-point beat downs they had been doling out. On the road at Auburn and Mississippi State for a couple of easy games this week, but they finish the season vs. South Carolina, @ Kentucky, vs. Arkansas, and @ Vanderbilt.
2) Kentucky (20-5, 10-2, RPI: 9) - Kentucky bounced back in a big way demolishing LSU in the first half. While the Tigers tried to push in the very end, they were in too deep of a hole and Kentucky just coasted. Alabama had a much better chance against Kentucky in Tuscaloosa, but a woeful 36% free throw percentage gave Kentucky the victory.
3) South Carolina (20-5, 10-2, RPI: 23) - Did you know that Alabama and South Carolina played 4 overtimes on Tuesday? Seriously, their game didn’t finish until Arkansas and Vanderbilt started the 2nd half. After losing the Alabama, the Gamecocks turned in a gutsy performance beating Mississippi State on the road in a close one. Sindarius Thornwell had 28 points while holding Bulldog Quinndary Weatherspoon to 5. The Gamecocks host Arkansas on Wednesday.... Let’s see what happens.
4) Alabama (14-10, 7-5, RPI: 74) - When you beat South Carolina in 4 OT on the road and then stand toe-to-toe with Kentucky right after, you’ve got my respect. I dogged Alabama hard for the Auburn losses, but the Crimson Tide are a scary team right now. I think they could win out the rest of their season and end up at 20-10, 13-5. Even with all that, they probably have to win the SEC Tournament to make the dance.
5) Arkansas (18-7, 7-5, RPI: 43) - Home loss to Vanderbilt. Road win against LSU (that’s 4 road wins). This team will either beat South Carolina by 10 on Wednesday or lose by 50.
6) Tennessee (14-11, 6-6, RPI: 46) - Tennessee gave up a 14 point second half lead to let the Bulldogs win at home. Tennessee played from behind most of the game in a win against Ole Miss earlier in the week. If you take a look away from the Razorbacks you see a lot of the same inconsistencies the Hogs have.
7) Georgia (14-11, 6-7, RPI: 53) - Georgia got a hard-earned win over Tennessee to snap a 3-game losing streak. It seems doubtful the Bulldogs will reach 20 wins this season which will end a 3 year streak for Mark Fox.
8) Ole Miss (15-10, 6-6, RPI: 59) - Ole Miss was down by 20 at half to Auburn, but out-scored the Tigers 63-37 in the second half to win. They did that while only making 5 3-pointers. Holy Cow!
9) Auburn (16-9, 5-7, RPI: 67) - The impressive thing about this week is Auburn had a 20 point lead in both games. On Tuesday, the Tigers let Mississippi State back in the game but held on. On Saturday, well you just read what happened. I wonder what Bruce Pearl is doing to have these 2nd half collapses.
10) Vanderbilt (12-13, 5-7, RPI: 56) - Does a win at Arkansas and a loss at Missouri in the same week make you a weird team? Vanderbilt is a weird team.
11) Mississippi State (14-10, 5-7, RPI: 121) - The Bulldogs got in a big hole at Auburn, but couldn’t quite Arkansas their way out of it. They played well against the Gamecocks, too. Rough week for Mississippi State. Remember when we thought they would be a good SEC team because they beat us at home?
12) Texas A&M (12-10, 4-6, RPI: 94) - The 12th Man stays at 12th. Do they say 12th Man for Basketball? 5 players, + 4 coaches + 1 Clock Manager = I don’t know. The Aggies looked like they hadn’t played together against Florida. They had 20 turnovers. They have won 4 out of their last 6 games though.
13) Missouri (7-17, 2-10, RPI: 242) - I didn’t think I would ever move Mizzou off the bottom line. I don’t have anything prepared to say about this team. I think they almost beat Texas A&M, too. If they had, their theoretical 3-game win streak would be the 2nd longest in the SEC.
14) LSU (9-15, 1-11, RPI: 149) - You can say the Tigers played well for stretches this week, but not when it really counted. They scored in a flurry at the end of a loss at Kentucky, and ultimately faded in the 2nd half against Arkansas. Shaq hit a 3-pointer though.