It’s been a month since the last update on SEC basketball and the standings look much the same. The bottom half of the league still has the same faces – Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Auburn, Georgia and Mississippi State.
The top of the league has shuffled a little. Alabama still sits comfortably on top, but Arkansas has made a big jump into second place in the league. Missouri has notably dropped in a big way all the way to seventh in the league. They will undoubtedly be falling out of the top 25 as well.
The only other somewhat significant shift is Ole Miss. The Rebels strung off four conference wins in a row and jumped into the bubble conversation. After losing an important game at home to Mississippi State, Ole Miss’s tournament hopes are very slim now.
- Alabama: 18-6 (13-2)
- Arkansas: 14-1 (10-4) +5
- Tennessee: 16-6 (9-6) -1
- Florida: 12-6 (8-5)
- LSU: 14-7 (9-5)
- Missouri: 14-7 (7-7) -1
- Ole Miss: 13-9 (8-7) +2
- Kentucky: 8-13 (7-7) -2
- Georgia: 14-9 (7-9) +2
- Mississippi State: 13-11 (7-8)
- Auburn: 11-13 (5-10) -3
- Vanderbilt: 6-13 (2-11) +2
- South Carolina: 5-12 (3-10) -1
- Texas A&M: 8-7 (2-6) -1
Projected Seeds: (2) Alabama, (5) Arkansas, (6) Tennessee, (8) Missouri, (9) LSU, (9) Florida
Bubble: Ole Miss
The field of 68 is beginning to form with the last question marks coming from the bubble. Alabama looks to be the favorite to secure the high seed in the SEC. Even with the most recent loss to Arkansas, the Crimson Tide should have a strong enough resume to make a case for the two seed.
Arkansas themselves makes a jump to the front. With a strong finish they could earn as high as a four seed. The Razorbacks have won five in a row including wins over ranked Missouri and Alabama as well as tournament team Florida.
N.B.: It has been noted by my Bubble Watch colleague John Gasaway that the term “bracketologist” first appeared in print 25 years ago today. God help us all! pic.twitter.com/CPFx8cXezi
— Joe Lunardi (@ESPNLunardi) February 25, 2021
Tennessee and Missouri are two teams that have slipped in the second half of the season. Tennessee is just holding on to a six seed after losing to Kentucky last week. And Missouri has now lost four of their last five and could be in jeopardy of a further drop if they don’t figure things out.
LSU and Florida have turned in solid seasons and appear in line to be seeded about the same. LSU’s drumming at the hands of Georgia hurts a little but doesn’t put them near the bubble. Florida has done very well over the last month going 6-2.
The lone bubble team in the SEC looks like Ole Miss. They’ve gone back and forth over the last week or two and holds their fate in their hands. The loss to Mississippi State really hurt but they have a chance again after this week’s win against Missouri. They’ll need to win out though and possibly do some damage in the tournament.
Best of the Rest
Kentucky was down bad at one point having lost four in a row. It easily could’ve been five in a row had the game against Texas not been cancelled by Kentucky due to COVID. Since though, they’ve won three in a row including a road win against Tennessee. The Wildcats seem to be finding their groove late in the season.
Although Mississippi State defeated Georgia earlier in the season, Tom Crean’s team has been hotter in the second half of conference play. They’re coming off the dominant win against LSU and beat Missouri the week before. Who knows, remove some bad losses to South Carolina and Auburn and this might’ve been a bubble team.
Mississippi State was severely depleted coming into the season. They’ve been playing with one of the shortest benches in the SEC. All things considered, it’s been a somewhat successful season in what was going to be a down year.
It’s a similar story for Auburn. The Tigers had the postseason ban to start the season as well as their best player Sharife Cooper unavailable for half the season. The end of the season has been brutal and doesn’t get any easier with the next two games.
As for the rest of the teams, Vanderbilt has looked the best among the trio. Of their last five losses, four have come by two possessions or less. It feels like the Commodores are on the cusp of turning the corner. Carolina and Texas A&M meanwhile have been decimated by COVID this year and never seemed to get their feet under them.
Teams have anywhere from 1-3 games remaining depending on COVID and rescheduling. As of now the tournament is set to run March 10 through March 14.
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