I'll be very interested to see how this years field is filled. There is a case that can be made for just 3 bids, but I wouldn't be shocked if it ends up at 4 or 5. In the end will the committee have the courage to fill with mid-majors over "power" conference teams?
Oh, my. The SEC’s NCAA tourney outlook just keeps getting worse and worse. Aside from Florida, there’s reason for concern at every other SEC outpost. Missouri can’t win on the road. Kentucky looks lost without Nerlens Noel. Ole Miss is a paltry 1-4 against top 50 RPI teams. Alabama, Tennessee, Texas A&M, and Arkansas are all fighting their own RPI rankings.
You might have seen the question in today’s headlines: Will the SEC be a one-bid league? It’s possible. For much of the season, Mike Slive’s league had boasted three resumes that we felt were NCAA Tournament worthy. When Kentucky got hot, that number grew to four. Now things look as though they could become considerably worse.
Here are the updated RPI numbers for each league team:
|School||RPI||SEC Record||Div. I Record||Top 50 RPI Record||Last Game|
|Florida||4||11-1||21-3||5-2||83-52 W @AUB|
|Missouri||38||7-5||18-7||2-3||71-73 L @ARK|
|Kentucky||44||8-4||17-8||0-4||58-88 L @UT|
|Ole Miss||51||8-4||19-6||1-4||84-74 W UGA|
|Alabama||59||9-3||16-8||1-3||68-58 W USC|
|Tennessee||69||6-6||14-10||2-4||88-58 W UK|
|Texas A&M||75||5-7||15-10||3-4||56-63 L @VU|
|Arkansas||77||7-5||16-9||3-3||73-71 W MU|
|LSU||103||6-6||15-8||1-4||80-68 W MSU|
|Georgia||120||6-6||12-13||0-6||74-84 L @UM|
|Vanderbilt||140||4-8||10-14||0-5||63-56 W A&M|
|S. Carolina||207||2-10||12-13||0-3||58-68 L @ALA|
|Auburn||213||3-9||9-16||0-5||52-83 L UF|
|Miss. State||231||2-10||7-17||0-5||68-80 L @LSU|
No SEC team currently has a win streak longer than three games. On the other end of the spectrum, South Carolina has lost six games in a row while Mississippi State has dropped 10 in a row.
MrSEC.com NCAA Tournament Projection as of 2/18/13
If the tourney began today, Florida would be in line for a #1 or #2 seed. Missouri would receive the league’s second bid. Ole Miss doesn’t have a great resume — 1-4 vs the RPI top 50 would hurt — but with a weak crop of bubble teams nationwide, we’d give the Rebels the benefit of the doubt and barely slide them into the bracket. That’s it. Three bids at most for the SEC right now.
Kentucky’s numbers — and they’re not great numbers in the first place — are essentially moot pending the team’s play without Noel. If UK struggles down the stretch, the committee will take note of what John Calipari’s roster is capable of doing right now. Saturday, it didn’t look like his players were capable of doing very much at all without their best teammate on the floor.
LSU at Tennessee (Tuesday, 7:00pm ET) — The Volunteers will likely have to win their last six games or at least five of six just to get in the NCAA conversation.
Florida at Missouri (Tuesday, 9:00pm ET) — A road win would aid the Gators’ push to earn a #1 seed, but this is a bigger game for Mizzou. The Tigers need another quality win to strengthen their resume.
Ole Miss at South Carolina (Wednesday, 7:00pm ET) — A must-win game for the Rebels. A loss at Carolina would be devastating.
Vanderbilt at Kentucky (Wednesday, 8:00pm ET) — Will the Wildcats show some fight or just throw in the towel on the season?
Texas A&M at Auburn (Wednesday, 8:00pm ET) — A must-win game for the Aggies. With slim NCAA hopes, A&M can’t afford to lose to a team with an RPI in the 200s.
Mississippi State at Alabama (Wednesday, 8:00pm ET) — Like Texas A&M and Ole Miss, Alabama can’t lose to a sub-200 RPI opponent.
Georgia at Arkansas (Thursday, 7:00pm ET) — Now is no time for the Razorbacks to lose on at home. To keep hope alive, the Hogs have to win.