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Monday SEC Basketball Wrap And Tourney Forecast

For as bad as the SEC West appears to be on paper, the folks to the left side of the SEC map caused a good deal of pain for the guys on the right side this past weekend.

Auburn got their first SEC win of the season at South Carolina 79-64.  Arkansas got their first road win of the season at Vanderbilt 89-78.  And Mississippi State bounced back from a tough loss Thursday to upset what had been the SEC’s hottest team — Florida — 71-64 on Saturday.

Elsewhere around the league, Kentucky held off Georgia 66-60 in Lexington, Alabama crushed tumbling LSU 70-46 and Tennessee might have started the countdown clock on Andy Kennedy’s SEC stay with a 74-58 win at Ole Miss.

That action leaves the SEC divisional races looking like this:


SEC East

School
SEC Record
Games Back
Overall Record
Florida
5-2

16-5
Kentucky
4-2
.5
16-4
Tennessee
4-2
.5
14-7
Vanderbilt
3-3
1.5
15-5
S. Carolina
3-3
1.5
12-7
Georgia
3-4
2.0
14-6



SEC West

School
SEC Record
Games Back
Overall Record
Alabama
5-1

13-7
Arkansas
4-3
1.5
14-6
Miss. State
3-3
2.0
11-9
LSU
2-4
3.0
10-11
Ole Miss
1-5
4.0
13-8
Auburn
1-6
4.5
8-13



In terms of NCAA Tournament hopes, the league still appears to be on a path for five bids.  But four is a possibility if Georgia plays its way out of the field.

Alabama — thanks to its stiff defense — could play itself onto the bubble if it continues to ring up wins.  The same goes for Mississippi State.  The Bulldogs’ win over Florida convinced doctors not to pull the plug on the season just yet, but they’re still eying the cord.  (Sidenote — Did you know either eying or eyeing is correct?  I did not.)

Below are the seven SEC squads who currently have some semblance of hope regarding a Big Dance invitation along with their current resume and what they’ll need to do to insure a bid:


Kentucky (In if the tourney started today)
RPI Rank: 8
SOS Rank: 15
Vs RPI Top 50: 4-3
Losses Outside Top 50: 1 (at Alabama)
Remaining vs Top 50: 6 (at Florida, Tennessee, at Vanderbilt, Florida, Vanderbilt, at Tennessee)
Gotta: Avoid a complete collapse

Tennessee (In if the tourney started today)
RPI Rank: 16
SOS Rank: 1
Vs RPI Top 50: 6-2
Losses Outside Top 50: 5 (Oakland, at Charlotte, Southern Cal, College of Charleston, at Arkansas)
Remaining vs Top 50: 5 (at Kentucky, at Florida, Georgia, at Vanderbilt, Kentucky)
Gotta: Take care of business at home

Florida (In if the tourney started today)
RPI Rank: 19
SOS Rank: 17
Vs RPI Top 50: 5-1
Losses Outside Top 50: 4 (UCF, Jacksonville, South Carolina, at Mississippi State
Remaining vs Top 50: 6 (Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, at Kentucky, at Vanderbilt)
Gotta: Take care of business at home

Vanderbilt (In if the tourney started today)
RPI Rank: 25
SOS Rank: 26
Vs RPI Top 50: 3-3
Losses Outside Top 50: 2 (at South Carolina, Arkansas)
Remaining vs Top 50: 6 (at Florida, Kentucky, at Georgia, Tennessee, at Kentucky, Florida)
Gotta: Take care of business at home

Georgia (On the bubble if the tourney started today)
RPI Rank: 45
SOS Rank: 40
Vs RPI Top 50: 2-6
Losses Outside Top 50: 0
Remaining vs Top 50: 4 (Xavier, Vanderbilt, at Tennessee, at Florida)
Gotta: Win three out of four against remaining Top 50 teams and take care of business at home

Alabama (Out if the tourney started today)
RPI Rank: 113
SOS Rank: 161
Vs RPI Top 50: 1-1
Losses Outside Top 50: 6 (Seton Hall, Ioaw, St. Peter’s, at Providence, Oklahoma State, at Arkansas)
Remaining vs Top 50: 4 (at Tennessee, at Vanderbilt, at Florida, Georgia)
Gotta: Win 3 out of 4 vs the East and at least 4 out of 6 vs the West… then do very well in the SEC Tournament

Mississippi State (Out if the tourney started today)
RPI Rank: 168
SOS Rank: 122
Vs RPI Top 50: 1-3
Losses Outside Top 50: 6 (FAU, ETSU, Virginia Tech, Washington State, at Hawaii, Alabama)
Remaining vs Top 50: 2 (at Kentucky, at Tennessee)
Gotta: Win 8 of their last 10, do well in the SEC Tournament and pray that the committee looks only at the after-Christmas portion of their schedule

 


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