It’s the last week before the SEC Tournament. Some teams are still jockeying for the best seed possible while others look like they are tanking to get a better draft pi-wait-they don’t get anything for losing? They’re just awful? Ok then.
STILL, lots of questions remain:
Is Vanderbilt the best hope for a 5th NCAA tournament team from the SEC?
Arkansas can’t get the 2nd seed in the SEC Tournament, but can they keep the 3rd?
Can anyone really stop Kentucky?
1) Kentucky (24-5, 14-2, RPI: 7) - The most impressive thing about the revenge win the Wildcats had over Florida, is they did it without De’Aaron Fox. You-Know-Who scored 30 in the 2nd half to win the game for Kentucky.
2) Florida (23-6, 13-3, RPI: 6) - Florida controlled its destiny more than any other team. Wins over South Carolina and Kentucky would give the Gators a clear run at the SEC regular season title and the coveted top spot in these power rankings. The Gators beat the the Gamecocks in every phase in the midweek game, but could not win on the road at Kentucky.
3) South Carolina (21-8, 11-5, RPI: 30) - Tennessee isn’t quite as big of a win as it was a few weeks ago, but it should take some of the sting out of losing at Florida. The Gamecocks are currently on a 2-4 downswing. If they win either of their next two games (Miss St., @ Ole Miss) they will sew up a double bye in the SEC tournament.
4) Arkansas (22-7, 11-5, RPI: 31) - Arkansas has all of the momentum in the world right now. 5 game winning streaks are hard to come by in the SEC. The wins over Texas A&M and @ Auburn were supposed to happen, but more impressively they felt comfortable.
5) Vanderbilt (16-13, 9-7, RPI: 48) - Vanderbilt has a chance to finish in the top 4 in the SEC, but they have Kentucky and Florida on the schedule this week. If they win out and South Carolina or Arkansas loses out, then Vanderbilt can technically get a double bye. Vandy is trying to make a late run at the Tournament, but will probably have to pull off a win this week and again next week in the SEC Tournament to pull it off.
6) Georgia (17-12, 8-8, RPI: 56) - No Maten, no problem. Georgia knocks off Alabama and LSU in close games this week. J.J. Frazier hit two free throws to sink the Tigers in the final seconds as they lost 82-80.
7) Tennessee (15-14, 7-9, RPI: 66) - Tennessee has lost better than just about any SEC team this season. 10 losses to teams with a top 50 RPI. Congratulations Tennessee! If they want any more top 50 losses, they will have to make them happen in the SEC tournament.
8) Alabama (16-12, 9-7, RPI: 96) - When Arkansas played Alabama, they looked like a team that was peaking at the right time and had won 8 of their last ten games, but including the Arkansas game, Alabama is 3-5 in their last 8 games and petering out at the wrong time. The two losses this week will remind Arkansas of the many times we’ve seen our teams fizzle at the end of seasons.
9) Ole Miss (18-11, 9-7, RPI: 70) - Ole Miss edged out Mississippi State and Mizzou this week to tread water. Andy Kennedy has games at rapidly fading Alabama and South Carolina to secure another 20-win season.
10) Texas A&M (15-13, 7-9, RPI: 86) - After 3 straight losses to start SEC play, A&M has failed to string together the 3 straight wins that would be necessary to get back to .500. Each week, the Aggies win one game and lose the other(not necessarily in that order), and that doesn’t look to change with Mizzou and Kentucky on the schedule this week.
11) Auburn (17-12, 6-10, RPI: 83) - Auburn has lost 4 of their last 5. The last time a team failed to score more than 70 when playing Auburn was when Alabama only managed 64 back in late January.
12) Mississippi State (14-14, 5-11, RPI: 141) - 3-10 since they beat Arkansas. 6-game losing streak. The loss to Mississippi State may haunt Arkansas’s seeding more than any other loss since it was in Fayetteville.
13) Missouri (7-21, 2-14, RPI: Does it really matter? (251)) - I have to go through so many Missouri Valley Schools and Missouri State when I’m CTRL + F finding Missouri way at the bottom of the RPI list. They didn’t look bad in their losses to Kentucky and Ole Miss this week, but they are losses nonetheless.
14) LSU (9-19, 1-15, RPI: 174) - 15-game losing streak. *cricket cricket cricket*