Normally, I would publish an SEC Power Rankings but this week I’ve decided to do something a little different since I just published the last edition on Thursday. After this week, look for Power Rankings to come out each Tuesday morning through the rest of the season.
The SEC schedule started on Saturday with 5 games played. 3 of those games had final margins of 2 points each. The SEC is going to be super competitive all season long and Saturday was proof of that. Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State and Missouri will all begin SEC play this week after having Saturday off. We’ll go in alphabetical order starting with:
Alabama: 10-3 (1-0)
Saturday: Beat #13 Kentucky 77-75
This Week: Tonight at LSU, Saturday vs. Texas A&M
The Tide tried really hard to blow their game against Kentucky, having an 11 point lead with 3 minutes to go only to allow Kentucky’s press to get Alabama all out of sorts. Alabama survived when Tyler Herro’s GW 3-point attempt hit the back iron at the buzzer. Tevin Mack led Alabama with 22 points on 6-6 3-point shooting (all in the first half).
Arkansas: 10-3 (1-0)
Saturday: Beat Texas A&M 73-71
This Week: Wednesday vs. Florida, Saturday vs. LSU
Arkansas went to College Station and came out of there with a 2 point win. Jalen Harris had 15 points and 9 assists to lead the Razorbacks to a road win. The Hogs face an underachieving Florida team on Wednesday before hosting LSU Saturday, 2 winnable games that would put the SEC on notice.
#11 Auburn: 11-2 (0-0)
This Week: Wednesday at Ole Miss, Saturday vs. Georgia
If you’re like me, you’ve been having Auburn Basketball withdrawals. But alas, we have one more day before the Tigers take the court again Wednesday night in Oxford. Ole Miss has been one of the league’s biggest surprises and the backcourt matchup between Jared Harper and Bryce Brown vs. Breein Tyree and Terence Davis will be one to watch. Auburn opens their home SEC schedule against Georgia on Saturday afternoon.
Florida: 8-5 (0-1)
Saturday: Lost to South Carolina 71-69
This Week: Wednesday at Arkansas, Saturday vs. #3 Tennessee
You can’t lose at home to South Carolina. Especially in the manner that they did.
UNBELIEVABLE! South Carolina with a full court pass to get a wide open game winning shot! They steal a win at Florida! pic.twitter.com/tiJ0RfUPCU— CBB Talk (@CBBSuperFan) January 6, 2019
Was there a foul there? Probably. Could the officials have called traveling on Silva? Maybe. Bottom line, they had no business being in this situation on Saturday and now after being high on them all year, what Gators team will show up this week? They go to Arkansas in the mid-week before.... Tennessee in the Swamp in a game that could get ugly. Good luck Gators.
Georgia: 8-5 (0-1)
Saturday: Lost to #3 Tennessee 96-50
This Week: Wednesday vs. Vanderbilt, Saturday at #11 Auburn
Welcome to the SEC Tom Crean!
Crean’s first SEC game as a Head Coach will go down as a 46 point loss. Ouch...
My question is what did Georgia do to get this schedule having their first 2 road SEC games being at Tennessee and at Auburn? Double ouch...
And oh by the way, Georgia hosts Kentucky after playing at Auburn. Triple ouch...
That makes Wednesday’s game against the Commodores of massive importance for the Bulldogs. Tennessee just absolutely overwhelmed them, particularly in the second half as Georgia trailed by as many as 49 in this game.
#18 Kentucky: 10-3 (0-1)
Saturday: Lost to Alabama 77-75
This Week: Tonight vs. Texas A&M, Saturday vs. Vanderbilt
Well just when we think we have Kentucky figured out, they lose at Alabama. Kentucky didn’t play well until the game reached desperation mode and in the end, the hole was just a bit too deep. I would expect Kentucky to bounce back this week with a pair of games at Rupp Arena.
LSU: 10-3 (0-0)
This Week: Tonight vs. Alabama, Saturday at Arkansas
I haven’t got a great read on LSU this year but Tremont Waters numbers are a bit down so far this year. LSU will have had 11 days to get ready for tonight’s matchup with Alabama, a team coming in with lots of momentum. LSU really needs to win tonight with a road trip to Fayetteville looming on Saturday.
#14 Mississippi State: 12-1 (0-0)
This Week: Tonight at South Carolina, Saturday vs. Ole Miss
The Bulldogs are a 5 point loss to Arizona State away from being undefeated right now. Mississippi State is in Columbia, South Carolina to start SEC play tonight against a team coming off an upset win in Gainesville on Saturday. Then Saturday, we’ll get to see Ben Howland and Kermit Davis face off for the first time in the SEC as in-state rivals clash at the Hump.
Missouri: 9-3 (0-0)
This Week: Tonight vs. #3 Tennessee, Saturday at South Carolina
What a huge opportunity lying before Mizzou tonight hosting Tennessee in their conference opener. Their best win so far is over UCF but pulling a huge upset tonight would do wonders for this program. Missouri heads to the other Columbia on Saturday.
Ole Miss: 11-2 (1-0)
Saturday: Beat Vanderbilt 81-71
This Week: Wednesday vs. #11 Auburn, Saturday at #14 Mississippi State
Did you know that other than Alabama, Auburn has played the most games against Ole Miss, this being the 127th game between the schools. We’re going to have a lot more about Ole Miss in the next 24 hours but the Rebels have one of the toughest slates in America this week, playing a pair of Top 15 schools. Ole Miss has won 8 straight and they’ll be fired up to face off against Auburn, a team that swept them last year after winning their previous 10 games with the Tigers.
South Carolina: 6-7 (1-0)
Saturday: Beat Florida 71-69
This Week: Tonight vs. #14 Mississippi State, Saturday vs. Missouri
Apparently Jake Bentley and Deebo Samuel showed up in Gainesville to perfectly execute their final play against Florida to steal a win in Gainesville. That was without a doubt the biggest win of the year for South Carolina and we’ll see if they can build off of that. They get a pair of home games this week hosting Mississippi State and Missouri.
#3 Tennessee: 12-1 (1-0)
Saturday: Beat Georgia 96-50
This Week: Tonight at Missouri, Saturday at Florida
Tennessee destroyed Georgia in every way possible Saturday. The Vols were 1 point shy of their biggest win over an SEC opponent all-time, something they did in 1966, beating Ole Miss 102-55. Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield each scored 18 points and Jordan Bowden added 20 off the bench for the Volunteers. This week, Tennessee travels to the opposite ends of the geographic scope of the SEC playing in Columbia, Missouri tonight and then Gainesville on Saturday.
Texas A&M: 6-6 (0-1)
Saturday: Lost to Arkansas 73-71
This Week: Tonight at #18 Kentucky, Saturday at Alabama
Things just don’t look good for the Aggies right now. A&M really needed that game Saturday, falling 2 points short against Arkansas. This week, they hit the road twice before Auburn comes to College Station next Wednesday.
Vanderbilt: 9-4 (0-1)
Saturday: Lost to Ole Miss 81-71
This Week: Wednesday at Georgia, Saturday at #18 Kentucky
Speaking of teams that needed to win their game: I present to you Vandy. Simisola Shittu had 21 points and 9 rebounds in the losing effort Saturday. The Dores play twice on the road this week so we’ll see if they can bounce back from a tough loss Saturday.