The SEC's Projected to Put Six in the Big Dance? Really?
Share this article
Whoa! Didn't realize how challenging Kentucky had it.
OK. Ole Miss, Texas A&M, LSU, and even the sub-.500 Gators got the their attention, but wasn't the general consensus that the Wildcats would sail through the SEC the way Gonzaga is cutting its usual swath through the WCC?
But five of them are expected to join Kentucky in the NCAA tournament?
Hell, maybe the NBA should expand to Lexington.
Alrighty, then. Let's look at this powerhouse conference.
Barring a back-door bid via the SEC tourney championship, Missouri, South Carolina, Auburn, Mississippi State, and Vanderbilt will have more time for their studies in a couple of weeks. Florida's had their moment in the spotlight; the Gators have lost four in a row -- the last two by one point -- and seven of their last nine. At 12-13 overall, the Gators may as take some time to discover where Jack White and the Raconteurs hung out.
Alabama's done like dinner. The Tide's home loss to Vanderbilt dropped them to 5-7 in the league. They'll need Levi Randolph and Shannon Hale to put on their own show in Music City if they're gonna get anywhere.
Tennessee had a great chance to make a statement at home against another SEC bubble team, LSU, but the Volunteers fell behind 47-20 at the half and were beaten, 73-55. Now, Tennessee and coach Donnie Tyndall -- who beat the posse at Southern Miss, for now -- will have to regroup as Kentucky visits on Tuesday.
LSU, on the other hand, now has another statement game against Texas A&M and can cement their bid to the Dance with a win. If Jordan Mickey plays the way he did over the weekend, LSU could be sittin' in tall cotton.
Georgia looked to be cruisin' with home games on the docket against Auburn and South Carolina. But the Bulldogs got Pearled by the Tigers and are now back on the bubble. Kenny Gaines and crew need to get back on track against the Gamecocks with road games at Alabama and Mississippi following.
Speaking of Ole Miss, the Rebels dropped a tough one to Arkansas at home but still control their own destiny to make the Dance. Mississippi had won six in a row before that 71-70 loss, but with players like Stefan Moody and Jarvis Summers the Rebels should be on their way to the post-season. Right now, they're one of only three teams in the country with a signature loss:
Texas A&M all but has their ticket punched, unless they totally fall apart. The Aggies (17-7; 8-4) still have LSU and Arkansas left but have come the closest to beating Kentucky this year with that two-overtime loss. Yes, it ran long and it was in football country, so it does make one wonder what Heidi woulda done.
The Aggies and Arkansas (20-5; 9-3) are looking to upgrade their seeding for the tournament. The Razorbacks, led by Bobby Portis and Mike Qualls, can clinch their bid with a win at Kentucky later this month.
Well, what are they supposed to think?
They'll get their shot on Sat 28 Feb. In Lexington. Where the NBA is expanding.