Well folks, we’re almost to the end. I don’t know where time went but this is the next to last week of the Regular Season. In 2 weeks, we’ll be getting ready for the SEC Tournament in Nashville. Welcome to the 10th edition of SEC Basketball Power Rankings! As always, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below but this is where I have everyone going into this week’s games.
1. Kentucky 23-4 (12-2)
Last Week: Beat Missouri 66-58, Beat Auburn 80-53
This Week: Tonight vs. Arkansas, Saturday at #7 Tennessee
Nobody in college basketball was beating Kentucky on Saturday. The Cats continue to roll along even without the services of Reid Travis. He started rehab today but it’s unknown how long he’ll be out of action. P.J. Washington scored 24 points against Auburn and made a career high 5 3-pointers. He’s my pick for SEC Player of the Year right now. Kentucky has a rematch with Tennessee in Knoxville Saturday that will go a long way in deciding who wins the SEC Regular Season title.
2. Tennessee 24-3 (12-2)
Last Week: Beat Vanderbilt 58-46, Lost to LSU 82-80 (OT)
This Week: Wednesday at Ole Miss, Saturday vs. #4 Kentucky
Yes, LSU beat Tennessee on Saturday. What a tough to end the game on a foul call with 0.6 seconds left but that’s what we had on Saturday. I still think Tennessee is the better overall team and I think the Vols get further in the NCAA Tournament than LSU will.
WILD OT finish for LSU-Tennessee— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 23, 2019
LSU comes away with the W , 82-80. pic.twitter.com/CEQ5jyGo83
The Vols have struggled a bit lately but I think they’re too talented to stay in this rut and will get it together as March dawns on us.
3. LSU 22-5 (12-2)
Last Week: Lost to Florida 82-77 (OT), Beat Tennessee 82-80 (OT)
This Week: Tonight vs. Texas A&M, Saturday at Alabama
LSU has wins over Kentucky and Tennessee but they also have home losses against Arkansas and Florida. These Tigers have been real fortunate IMO at the end of some these games and I went on record saying that LSU wouldn’t get out of the 1st weekend after Saturday’s win.
Put me down for a Round of 32 exit for LSU.— Will McLaughlin (@ShootyHoopsWill) February 23, 2019
LSU has a much easier finish to the schedule than Kentucky and Tennessee and holds the tiebreaker over those teams but rest assured, if there’s one team that I would love to see Auburn play again in the SEC Tournament, it’s LSU.
4. Ole Miss 19-8 (9-5)
Last Week: Lost at South Carolina 79-64, Beat Georgia 72-71
This Week: Wednesday vs. #7 Tennessee, Saturday at Arkansas
It was an interesting week in Oxford to say the very least. After a tough loss in Columbia early in the week, Ole Miss narrowly escaped Georgia on Saturday. Still, I think they’re the 4th best team in this conference but don’t be surprised if South Carolina nabs the #4 seed in the SEC Tournament. Ole Miss still has both Kentucky and Tennessee to come to Oxford before the season ends and that begins Wednesday with a visit from the Vols.
5. Mississippi State 20-7 (8-6)
Last Week: Beat Georgia 68-67, Beat South Carolina 76-61
This Week: Tonight vs. Missouri, Saturday at Auburn
We’ll see the Bulldogs again on Saturday and it’ll be interesting to see how different the game is from the first meeting when Mississippi State scored 92 on Auburn. The Bulldogs won in Athens after a Georgia fan threw a stuffed animal onto the court with 0.5 seconds left protesting a foul call in a time game.
With 0.5 seconds to play in a tie game, a fan tossed a stuffed animal onto the court in Georgia.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 21, 2019
The Bulldogs were assessed a technical foul. Mississippi St made the FT, and won the game. Wow pic.twitter.com/7PNheymQrp
After a loss to Kentucky, the Bulldogs have won 4 in a row going into this week’s play and still have trips left to Auburn and Tennessee left on the schedule.
6. South Carolina 14-13 (9-5)
Last Week: Beat Ole Miss 79-64, Lost to Mississippi State 76-61
This Week: Tonight vs. Alabama, Saturday at Missouri
What a job Frank Martin has done with this group. After tonight’s game with Alabama, their last 3 games come against teams towards the bottom of the SEC so that #4 seed as I eluded to earlier is theirs for the taking.
7. Auburn 18-9 (7-7)
Last Week: Beat Arkansas 79-56, Lost to Kentucky 80-53
This Week: Wednesday at Georgia, Saturday vs. Mississippi State
Well Auburn now has 2 Q1 wins and could end up with a 3rd if Florida keeps winning. But Auburn needs to win now and their game tomorrow night against Georgia is a must-win. Auburn took care of business in Athens last year behind 24 points from Jared Harper and Bryce Brown didn’t play in that game. With this being his last game in his home state as a college player, I look for Bryce to bounce back after a rough performance at Kentucky.
The Saturday game is a Q1 opportunity for the Tigers and they look to avenge a 92-84 loss in Starkville on January 26th. Auburn’s defense for the most part has drastically improved since that game. Auburn got their butts whooped on Saturday and now they have to respond because their backs are close to being against the wall regarding the NCAA Tournament. I think they’re fine but don’t lose to Georgia!!
8. Florida 16-11 (8-6)
Last Week: Beat LSU 82-77 (OT), Beat Missouri 64-60
This Week: Wednesday at Vanderbilt, Saturday vs. Georgia
Auburn fans, keep pulling for Florida. The Gators sit one spot away (at 31) when qualifying as a Q1 win for Auburn. Florida has won 4 in a row, the most significant result coming in an OT win at LSU last Wednesday. The Gators nearly suffered a letdown against Missouri but overcame a 9-point halftime deficit to beat Mizzou at home. The Gators have 2 very winnable games on their schedule this week.
9. Alabama 16-11 (7-7)
Last Week: Lost to Texas A&M 65-56, Beat Vanderbilt 68-61
This Week: Tonight at South Carolina, Saturday vs. #13 LSU
Well it was a “Tale of Two Halves” on Tuesday as the Tide had a 12 point lead in College Station before falling by 9 on the road. They then had a 24 point lead midway through the 2nd half against Vandy and the Dores made a late run but ultimately fell short. As we know, the Tide play well against quality competition at home and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit for them to drop their game tonight at South Carolina only for them to knock off LSU this weekend.
10. Texas A&M 12-14 (5-9)
Last Week: Beat Alabama 65-56, Beat Arkansas 87-80
This Week: Tonight at #13 LSU, Saturday vs. Vanderbilt
For Auburn’s sake, this is a team that needs to keep winning. By virtue of their recent run, they now sit at 68 in the NET rankings which means, Auburn’s win over them on January 16th is now a Q1 win (strange I know). Here’s a team that could have easily quit at 1-8 in the SEC but February has been a different story for the Aggies. They’ve won 4 of their last 5, have 2 wins over Alabama to avenge last year’s SEC Tournament game, and won in Fayetteville for the first time since 1986 Saturday night. Savion Flagg was the SEC Player of the Week. We’ll see if they keep this roll going against LSU tonight.
11. Missouri 12-14 (3-11)
Last Week: Lost to Kentucky 66-58, Lost to Florida 64-60
This Week: Tonight at Mississippi State, Saturday vs. South Carolina
Missouri is another team playing better, just without the results. Despite going 2-5 since their 34 point loss here in Auburn, the largest margin of defeat is just 12 so they’ve been at least respectable. These Tigers will serve as a tune-up for Mississippi State before the Bulldogs make their way to the Plains this weekend.
12. Arkansas 14-13 (5-9)
Last Week: Lost to Auburn 79-56, Lost to Texas A&M 87-80
This Week: Tonight at #4 Kentucky, Saturday vs. Ole Miss
We’ve talked about several teams moving in the right direction. This is not one of those teams. The Razorbacks have lost 5 in a row and there are rumblings about Mike Anderson’s job going around.
Up next: Kentucky in Rupp Arena. Good luck.
13. Georgia 10-17 (1-13)
Last Week: Lost to Mississippi State 68-67, Lost to Ole Miss 72-71
This Week: Wednesday vs. Auburn, Saturday at Florida
Here’s a word of advice for everybody. You can be mad at the refs all you want (I stay mad at them) but never, EVER, throw things on the court. Especially when that costs your team the game as it did Georgia last Wednesday.
The Bulldogs have been close lately losing by 4 against LSU on February 16th before their 2 1-point losses last week. It probably means they’re going to pull one of these games out eventually and as I check their schedule, oh no...….
14. Vanderbilt 9-18 (0-14)
Last Week: Lost to Tennessee 58-46, Lost to Alabama 68-61
This Week: Wednesday vs. Florida, Saturday at Texas A&M
The Dores showed a bit of promise this week but ran out of time against Alabama. Ultimately, they just don’t have the offense to win games right now. The last time a team went winless in the SEC? Georgia Tech back in 1954. Yeah, it’s been awhile and it may very well happen this year.