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SEC Basketball Power Rankings: 5th Edition

SEC Basketball Power Rankings: 5th Edition

Power Rankings

  1. No.14 Auburn: 8-0 (-)
  2. No.8 Kentucky: 7-1 (-)
  3. No.21 Tennessee: 7-1 (-)
  4. LSU: 6-2 (-)
  5. Arkansas: 8-1 (-)
  6. Florida: 6-3 (-)
  7. Ole Miss: 6-3 (+1)
  8. Mississippi State: 6-2 (-1)
  9. Georgia: 6-2 (-)
  10. Alabama: 4-4 (-)
  11. Vanderbilt: 6-2 (-)
  12. Missouri: 5-4 (-)
  13. South Carolina: 6-4 (-)
  14. Texas A&M: 3-5 (-)

Top Tier (1-4)

No big shake up in the top tier of the SEC. The group shrinks to four after Arkansas lost at Western Kentucky over the weekend. The top three teams remain the only teams in the conference who have been able to consistently win.

Auburn won a close one against Furman 81-78. Kentucky blew out Fairleigh Dickinson 83-52. The win was the 600th win at Rupp Arena. Tennessee dominated Florida A&M 72-43 for their 31st home win in a row. The Vols hold the longest active home winning streak in the country.

LSU blew out New Orleans at home 90-54. The Tigers have yet to earn that signature win in the non-conference but will have an opportunity coming up just before Christmas. LSU will see Southern California in a neutral site game on 12/21.

Middle Tier (5-9)

SEC Basketball Power Rankings: 5th Edition
The Mid Tier in the SEC went 3-4 this week, including two losses to Butler. (Photo by onlygators.com).

Arkansas didn’t drop any spots but they did fall out of the top tier. They benefit from Florida losing their only game against a good Butler this week. The loss for the Razorbacks may come back to haunt them if they make a case for the bubble in March.

Ole Miss also lost to Butler. The Bulldogs were in control for most of the game and handled the Rebels with ease. Ole Miss bounced back with a good win against former Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes.

Mississippi State lost their only game against Louisiana Tech. At the time it may look like a bad loss but Louisiana Tech may turn into a tournament team by season’s end. Their only losses are against the power 6 conferences, on the road.

Georgia cruised right by a bad North Carolina Central team. The struggle against Chaminade in the Jim Maui Invitational still holds them back from hopping up a spot.

Upper Bottom Tier (10-11)

Alabama continued their winning ways against a good and dangerous Stephen F. Austin team. Their 4-4 record has losses to UNC and Iowa State which doesn’t hurt them too much. But the early-season losses to Penn and Rhode Island continue to haunt their resume and have made it an uphill battle to the NCAA Tournament now.

Similarly, Vanderbilt also has two losses that have hurt them a little. However, Richmond is now 8-1 and Tulsa is 7-2. Except for those two close games, Vanderbilt has taken care of business this year. They’ve put themselves in a decent spot a month before SEC play begins.

Lower Bottom Tier (12-14)

Missouri got a nice win against Temple. The 64-54 win on the road snaps their three-game losing streak. South Carolina won at UMASS but got embarrassed by Houston at home. Their next two are going to be tough to win on the road against rival Clemson and at No.5 Virginia.

Buzz Williams’ first season at Texas A&M is looking like a wash already. The rebuild is in the beginning stages and it has shown this year. The Aggies’ loss to rival Texas is their fourth straight loss. They sit at 3-5 now and have little hopes of making the NIT much less the NCAA tournament.

Outlook

SEC Basketball Power Rankings: 5th Edition
Auburn had to rally from 14 down to beat the Paladins in overtime. (Photo by sandiegouniontribune.com).

The conference is not nearly as strong as initially thought before the season. Outside of the top three teams, most of the league has been a let down. LSU and especially Florida were expected to be better than they are right now.

The middle of the league has been what the middle of any conference normally is – very up and down. However, with the strength of the league being down, it’s going to take a strong conference record to be in the tournament. The middle tier at the present time is looking like they can get maybe three bids for the SEC.

This week offers up some good opportunities. The SEC has the entire week off until Saturday. Mississippi State gets Kansas State on a neutral floor. Arkansas gets a good Tulsa team at home. Alabama will travel to University Park to take on a very good Penn State team.

The matchup of the week is No.15 Memphis traveling to Knoxville to take on No.21 Tennessee. No.8 Kentucky will get Georgia Tech at home. And finally, Georgia will go on the road to take on Arizona State.

There’s plenty of opportunities left before conference play starts for the SEC to increase their league’s value.

 

 

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