The SEC is starting to take form. There’s a clear favorite in Kentucky and a unanimous second-best team in Arkansas. After that it’s a complete crapshoot as to where the teams will fall. Too often there have been bad losses, cough cough Georgia at home against South Carolina cough cough.
The SEC continues to hold onto the fifth place in conference RPI standings, but it’s tough to tell if the conference is better this year or not. Teams like LSU can’t seem to figure out its identity while Florida has struggled mightily.
For the meantime, these are the current SEC power rankings.
14. Missouri 7-19, 1-12; KenPom – 202
They only lost by three to Mississippi State? Seriously, no Missouri team should be this bad.
13. Auburn 12-14, 4-9; KenPom – 144
For the second time this month Auburn went on the road and stole a victory from a favored team. This time it was a one-point win at Georgia that has sent the Bulldogs into a freefall. Bruce Pearl has some nice wins during his first year at Auburn, beating Xavier, LSU and Georgia.
12. South Carolina 13-12, 4-9; KenPom – 57
After getting blown out at Rupp Arena, the Gamecocks went on the road and dominated Georgia. The final score was 64-58, but South Carolina was up by 20 for the majority of the game. They won’t make a run in the SEC Tournament, but they’ll be a tough out due to always playing hard under Frank Martin.
11. Mississippi State 12-14, 5-8; KenPom – 167
Rick Ray has done a hell of a job to get five wins in conference play. Most people figured Mississippi State would be where Missouri currently sits. The road doesn’t get easier for the Bulldogs as they have Arkansas and Kentucky in their next two games. They are a young team though and could move to the middle of the pack next season.
10. Vanderbilt 14-12, 4-9; KenPom – 50
We would be speaking quite differently of Vanderbilt if two of its last three games would have gone the other way. First, losing to Tennessee by three in overtime when they gave up a game-tying layup at the buzzer followed by a three-point loss at Florida, where Vanderbilt was up by double digits. Those two losses prevented a five-game winning streak.
9. Florida 13-13, 6-7; KenPom – 33
Forget about the NCAA Tournament. Florida is fighting to be accepted into the NIT, something that will happen if the Gators finish with a sub-.500 record. It’s very possible. The upcoming schedule is at LSU, at Missouri, vs. Tennessee, vs. Texas A&M and at Kentucky. What an incredibly bad season for Florida.
8. Alabama 16-10, 6-7; KenPom – 52
This team is a perfect example of the SEC. They aren’t good but they aren’t terrible. That’s about all you can say about Alabama basketball right now. It’s there.
7. Tennessee 14-11, 6-7; KenPom – 102
The Volunteers have lost four out of five and six out of eight, but they had No. 1 Kentucky on the ropes. The team is starting to find its identity under new coach Donnie Tyndall, holding Kentucky to 66 points. Josh Richardson is having an incredible year considering this his first time ever playing point guard.
6. Georgia 16-9, 7-6; KenPom – 41
Whether it’s been injuries or not, Georgia is now in a freefall. This past week the Bulldogs suffered two terrible losses to Auburn and South Carolina both at home. A once lock for the NCAA Tournament, Georgia will be holding its breath come Selection Sunday.
5. LSU 18-8, 7-6; KenPom – 34
The Tigers getting swept by Texas A&M will end up looking terrible for LSU come Selection Sunday. However, there’s a break in the schedule with three home games left against Florida, Ole Miss and Tennessee as well as a road game at Auburn. This team should win four of its last five and finish with a strong 22-9 record.
4. Texas A&M 18-7, 9-4; KenPom – 49
The Aggies are for real. Texas A&M held home court advantage by defeating Florida and LSU in College Station to guarantee at least a .500 record in conference play. Texas A&M will be in the NCAA Tournament and will be a dangerous high seed. The only losses are to Dayton, Baylor, Kansas State, Alabama, Kentucky, Ole Miss and Georgia.
3. Ole Miss 18-7, 9-4; KenPom – 30
The Rebels are a one-point loss to Arkansas away from an eight-game winning streak. Marshall Henderson? Who is that? The Rebels are 2-2 against the Top-25 and could be a sneaky Sweet 16 pick.
2. Arkansas 21-5, 10-3; KenPom – 29
Arkansas finally got a win on the road. However, the Razorbacks are still just 5-4 on the road and scoring 11 points less per game outside of Bud Walton Arena. This includes scoring 101 points against Auburn. Arkansas is the clear second-best team in the conference and will be attempting to grab a four or five seed come March.
1. Kentucky 26-0, 13-0; KenPom – 1
Words about Kentucky. This is just a filler because the Wildcats are good.