SEC basketball power rankings: Conference teams wrapped up in madness

There’s a reason the NCAA Tournament is known as “March Madness,” and the SEC was squarely in the middle of the action during the opening weekend of postseason play. How else can one explain Texas A&M’s thumping of North Carolina or Auburn’s implosion against Clemson?

It was quite a weekend, and let’s see what that did to the power rankings for this week:

14. Ole Miss

  • Record: 12-20 overall, 5-13 SEC
  • Ranking last week: 14
  • Take: The Rebels snared Middle Tennessee’s Kermit Davis to be their new coach last week.

13. Vanderbilt

  • Record: 12-20, 6-12
  • Ranking last week: 13
  • Take: After dealing with a subpar season, the Commodores are now facing a bit of attrition, as two players requested their releases recently.

12. South Carolina

  • Record: 17-16, 7-11
  • Ranking last week: 12
  • Take: While some programs are worried about losing players, South Carolina is concerned about its coach. UConn is reportedly interested in Frank Martin, but it doesn’t appear to be reciprocal.

11. Georgia

10. LSU

  • Record: 18-14, 8-10
  • Ranking last week: 10
  • Take: LSU will take on Utah on Monday night in the second round of the NIT, but it was Will Wade’s presser after a win against Louisiana-Lafayette that stole the headlines:

9. Mississippi State

  • Record: 24-11, 9-9
  • Ranking last week: 5
  • Take: The Bulldogs fell on the wrong side of the NCAA Tournament bubble but have reached the third round of the NIT. Mississippi State took down Nebraska at home before winning at Baylor on Quinndary Weatherspoon’s buzzer-beater:

8. Alabama

  • Record: 20-16, 8-10
  • Ranking last week: 8
  • Take: Alabama’s romp through March came to a screeching halt against top-seeded Villanova on Saturday. But Alabama’s win against Virginia Tech on Thursday made it an even 20 wins on the season, and the future looks bright in Tuscaloosa.

7. Missouri

  • Record: 20-13, 10-8
  • Ranking last week: 6
  • Take: Michael Porter Jr.’s return wasn’t enough to get the Tigers past Florida State in the opening game of the NCAA Tournament.

6. Arkansas

  • Record: 23-12, 10-8
  • Ranking last week: 5
  • Take: The Razorbacks fell behind 21-2 against Butler in Detroit on Friday and never recovered en route to a first-round exit in the NCAA Tournament.

5. Florida

  • Record: 21-13, 11-7
  • Ranking last week: 4
  • Take: Florida knocked off St. Bonaventure on Thursday before dropping a hard-fought decision to Texas Tech 69-66 Saturday.

4. Texas A&M

  • Record: 22-12, 9-9
  • Ranking last week: 6
  • Take: The Aggies had all they could handle against Providence in the opening game of the NCAA Tournament and figured to have an equally tough time with No. 2 seed North Carolina. Instead, Texas A&M dominated the defending national champions to punch its ticket to the Sweet 16 and a date against Michigan.

2. Auburn

  • Record: 26-8, 13-5
  • Ranking last week: 1
  • Take: Auburn survived a slugfest with Charleston to reach the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament but had its doors blown off against Clemson in an 84-53 loss on Sunday. Coach Bruce Pearl’s team missed its last 18 shots of the first half to fall out of the contest.

2. Tennessee

  • Record: 26-9, 13-5
  • Ranking last week: 1
  • Take: After trouncing Wright State in the first game, the Volunteers were a few seconds away from the Sweet 16 on Saturday, but Clayton Custer’s runner pushed Loyola Chicago to a narrow 63-62 victory.

1. Kentucky

  • Record: 26-10, 10-8
  • Ranking last week: 3
  • Take: While South seeds are falling faster than the pollen in SEC country, the Wildcats have quietly made their way to the Sweet 16 with wins against Davidson and Buffalo. They’ll meet Kansas State in Atlanta later this week.

The post SEC basketball power rankings: Conference teams wrapped up in madness appeared first on SEC Country.