We're past the halfway point of SECBasketballFever and the symptoms are only getting worse. Try to make sense of what you're seeing, it can't be done! The SEC is chaotic, perilous, and filled with colorful characters. It's the sports equivalent of a Quentin Tarantino move. So, this week, I've paired each team with a song from a soundtrack of a Quentin Tarantino film.
1) Kentucky 23-0, 10-0 (#1 AP, #1 Coaches Poll)
RPI: 2 Sagarin: 1 KenPom: 1 ESPN Projected 1 seed
Kentucky continues to roll. Kentucky had a challenging week, beating Georgia at home and Florida on the road. This week, Kentucky faces one of its stiffest remaining challenges as it travels to LSU on Tuesday night. As a reward, it gets to host South Carolina this weekend.
Kentucky is so good they almost aren't worth discussing anymore. It must leave Kentucky players and fans asking themselves, Didn't I Blow Your Mind This Time?
2) Arkansas 18-5, 7-3 (#24 AP, #23 Coaches Poll)
RPI: 24 Sagarin: 28 KenPom: 30 ESPN projected 6 seed
Arkansas is hot. They destroyed South Carolina and Miss State last week. They were supposed to beat these teams but Arkansas manhandled them by 20 points each. This week, Arkansas travels to Auburn and Ole Miss. They'll have to stay hot to have another perfect week.
Arkansas had best prepare itself before it enters L'Arena tonight:
3) Ole Miss 16-7, 7-3 (#38 AP, #34 Coaches Poll)
RPI: 36 Sagarin: 37 KenPom: 29 ESPN projected 10 seed
Ole Miss had the best week in the conference last week, beating Texas A&M at home and Auburn on the road. This week, Ole Miss has its biggest week of the year, traveling to Florida Thursday and coming home on short rest to play Arkansas. Winning both would be huge.
For Ole Miss, something upbeat and eccentric from the Kill Bill Vol. 1 soundtrack:
4) Texas A&M 16-6, 7-3 (#35 AP, #28 Coaches Poll)
RPI: 35 Sagarin: 49 KenPom: 39 ESPN projected 10 seed (last four in)
Texas A&M beat Missouri badly and lost to Ole Miss last week. Aggie has a chance to solidify its position as a top 4 seed this week as it hosts Georgia and Florida. Winning these games would not only move the Aggies to 9-3, it would also put some distance between them and two midpack rivals.
Why do I like Aggie's team so much? Don't know, guess I'm just Hooked on a Feeling:
5) LSU 17-6, 6-4
RPI: 51 Sagarin: KenPom: 43 ESPN projected 11 seed (Last four in)
LSU split games against Auburn and Alabama this week. Things get harder for the Tigers this week as they host Kentucky and travel to Tennessee. How this team beat Ole Miss and Georgia only to lose to Miss State, Auburn, and Missouri is beyond me. The Tigers could easily end this week at .500 in conference which would be disappointing given their talent.
The Golden Band from Tiger Land is famous for the Malaguena, so here is the Malaguena Salerosa from Kill Bill Vol 2:
6) Georgia 15-7, 6-4
RPI: 22 Sagarin: 53 KenPom: 33 ESPN projected 8 seed
Georgia's season is in the balance. While LSU and Texas A&M are projected as lower seeds, Georgia path forward feels more perilous. This week, Georgia travels to College Station then returns home to play Auburn. Winning both would be huge, but I don't see it happening.
Georgia is stuck in the middle and so make them the perfect pair for this Stealers Wheel song from Reservoir Dogs:
7) Florida 12-11, 5-5
RPI: 65 Sagarin: 41 KenPom: 35
Florida is slumping again, having lost five of its last seven including games last week to Vandy and Kentucky. This week, Florida hosts Ole Miss on Thursday before traveling to College Station Saturday. Unless they wake up, this will be an 0-2 week for the Gators which would all but eliminate them from the March Madness chase.
For Florida, this must feel like a trip gone wrong, like that one time Down in Mexico:
8) Tennessee 13-9, 5-5
RPI: 82 Sagarin: 93 KenPom: 98
It's been almost a month since Tennessee had a good win. Last week, they lost to Miss State and Georgia. This week, they travel to Vandy's unholy gym and host LSU. Tennessee could easily lose both games and find their tournament dreams crushed.
For Tennessee, from Jackie Brown, here's an underrated Johnny Cash song, the Tennessee Stud:
9) Alabama 14-9, 4-6
RPI: 66 Sagarin: 54 KenPom: 47
Alabama continues to struggle. Last week, they pulled away in the second half to beat Missouri and lost by 11 on the road to LSU in a game that wasn't as close as the final score indicates. Alabama has the ability to sweep this week as they host Vandy and travel to Miss State.
For Alabama, a song from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack dedicated to Anthony Grant:
10) Miss State 11-12, 4-6
RPI: 164 Sagarin: 151 KenPom: 166
Miss State has won four of its last seven but that last loss to Arkansas was ugly. Mississippi State should at least split this week as they host Alabama tonight then travel to Missouri this weekend. With any luck, they'll win them both.
Miss State is hardly a thoroughbred but they're making noise in the conference this year like a Braying Mule:
11) Vanderbilt 13-10, 3-7
RPI: 100 Sagarin: 64 KenPom: 48
Vandy snapped their seven game losing streak in style last week, beating Florida and South Carolina. This week, they get to prove that it wasn't a fluke when they host Tennessee and travel to Alabama.
Tennessee's results go to show You Never Can Tell:
12) Auburn 11-12, 3-7
RPI: 142 Sagarin: 143 KenPom: 137
Auburn has been so close so often this year but has just fallen short. Auburn beat LSU last week in the Deaf Dome in what was arguably its best win of the year. Then we came home and lost to Ole Miss in a heartbreaker. This week, the schedule remains challenging as we host a ranked Arkansas and travel to Stegeman to play Georgia. By rights, we should lose both games but you just never know with the Tigers.
For Auburn, here's a selection from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack in honor of our new found student section, the Jungle:
13) South Carolina 11-11, 2-8
RPI: 103 Sagarin: 66 KenPom: 52
South Carolina has lost six of their last seven including two last week to Arkansas and Vandy. A visit from Mizzou is just what the doctor ordered. The trip from Rupp this weekend is just what Dr. Kevorkian ordered.
Doctor ain't there nothin I can take? To relieve this belly ache?
14) Missouri 7-16, 1-9
RPI: 168 Sagarin: 183 KenPom: 205
Things are bad in Columbia. They've lost their last nine by an average of over 15 points. None of the last four games were decided by less than 13 points. This week represents Mizzou's best chance this entire year to get some good news. They travel to South Carolina then return home to Miss State. Getting swept this week would be a sign of a team that's given up.
Mizzou's Cat People are definitely Putting Out Fire of any passion they once had for basketball:
Games of the week: Arkansas at Ole Miss 2/14/15 8 pm SEC Network, Kentucky at LSU 2/10/15, 6 PM ESPN
Upset of the Week: Auburn over Arkansas 2/10/15 8 pm SEC Network