SEC basketball power rankings: 2 games left, and so much to sort out

There are only two SEC games remaining for each of the league’s 14 teams, and not much is certain as the league gears up for the conference tournament in St. Louis next week.  Auburn still has a little work to do to hold off Tennessee for the league title while nine teams are separated by just two games in the standings below them.

It would take a slide rule, an atomic clock and a fair amount of voodoo to list all of the seeding scenarios. Instead, let’s focus on what it all means for our power rankings this week:

14. Vanderbilt

  • Record: 11-18, 5-11 SEC
  • Ranking last week: 13
  • Take: The Commodores followed up a 2-0 week with losses to LSU and Texas A&M in the last few days. They’ll finish the regular season with a home game against Missouri and a visit to Oxford to face Ole Miss.

13. Ole Miss

  • Record: 12-17 overall, 5-11
  • Ranking last week: 14
  • Take: Tony Madlock provided a new coach bounce in a stirring 90-87 win in overtime at Missouri on Tuesday night. The Rebels also showed flashes in an eight-point loss to Tennessee on Saturday — enough of them to rise from the cellar for these power rankings.

12. South Carolina

  • Record: 15-14, 6-10
  • Ranking last week: 12
  • Take: Twenty-one turnovers doomed the Gamecocks in an overtime loss at Mississippi State on Saturday. It was another frustrating loss in a season featuring plenty of them.

11. LSU

  • Record: 16-12, 7-9
  • Ranking last week: 10
  • Take: Over the past 11 games, the Tigers have won every home game while losing every contest on the road. They’ll look to buck that trend Wednesday night at South Carolina.

10. Georgia

  • Record: 16-12, 7-9
  • Ranking last week: 11
  • Take: The Bulldogs have won three of their last four games to make a move up the league standings. If they could somehow knock off a pair of NCAA Tournament teams in Texas A&M and Tennessee to wrap up with the SEC slate, their postseason prospects could get considerably brighter.

9. Alabama

  • Record: 17-12, 8-8
  • Ranking last week: 7
  • Take: The Crimson Tide are stuck in reverse, having dropped three consecutive games against Kentucky, Auburn and Arkansas. Their home game Tuesday night against Florida has huge SEC and NCAA Tournament implications.

 8. Texas A&M

  • Record: 18-11 overall, 7-9
  • Ranking last week: 8
  • Take: A road win at Vanderbilt on Saturday snapped a three-game skid. The Aggies’ early-season success has bolstered their tournament chances, however, and wins against Georgia and Alabama to close the season would do wonders for their seeding.

7. Missouri

  • Record: 18-11, 8-8
  • Ranking last week: 3
  • Take: Missouri has chosen an inopportune time for a three-game skid, and those losses have the Tigers squarely on the tournament bubble. They’ll finish with a trip to Vanderbilt on Tuesday and a home date with Arkansas on Saturday.

6. Florida

  • Record: 18-11, 9-7
  • Ranking last week: 4
  • Take: The Gators added a nice win against Auburn to their potential NCAA Tournament resume on Saturday, and recent projections have the Gators inside the field. A win at Alabama on Tuesday could seal the deal.

5. Mississippi State

  • Record: 21-8, 9-7
  • Ranking last week: 9
  • Take: The Bulldogs are on the march up these rankings thanks to a recent three-game winning streak. They’ll try to stay hot at home against Tennessee on Tuesday night before finishing the regular season at LSU on Saturday.

4. Arkansas

  • Record: 20-9, 9-7
  • Ranking last week: 5
  • Take: The Razorbacks split games with Kentucky and Alabama last week, and find themselves in a four-way tie for third place. Their last two games are tricky with a home clash against Auburn followed by a trip to Missouri.

3. Kentucky

  • Record: 20-9, 9-7
  • Ranking last week: 6
  • Take: The yo-yo-like nature of the Wildcats’ season continued last week with an upswing in the form of two comfortable wins against Arkansas and Missouri. The Wildcats suddenly control their own destiny for a top-4 seed in the SEC Tournament — and a double bye into the quarterfinals.

2. Tennessee

  • Record: 21-7, 11-5
  • Ranking last week: 2
  • Take: Rick Barnes’ squad kept the heat on Auburn in the standings with wins over Florida and Ole Miss last week. Tennessee finishes at Mississippi State on Tuesday and at home against Georgia on Saturday.

1. Auburn

  • Record: 24-5, 12-4
  • Ranking last week: 1
  • Take: The Tigers earned a season split with Alabama on Wednesday before falling under a barrage of 3-pointers — 13 of them — against Florida on Saturday. They have a one-game lead over Tennessee, and the head-to-head tiebreaker. So one more win will assure Auburn a share of the league title and the top seed in St. Louis.

The post SEC basketball power rankings: 2 games left, and so much to sort out appeared first on SEC Country.

Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.