After yet another crazy week in the Southeastern Conference, the rankings have changed in a dramatic way. The SEC is wide open as week to week conference play continues. For a conference that is likely to see eight out of fourteen teams get in the NCAA tournament, it is no surprise the parity that is seen week in and week out. Without further ado here are the week four SEC power rankings.
1. Florida (14-5, 6-1) – The Gators are fresh off two huge wins over two NCAA Tournament caliber teams. The Gators throttled Arkansas 88-73 at home Wednesday night, then turned around and got a huge road win at Kentucky despite a lackluster shooting performance. The Gators are at home this week for both games as they host South Carolina on Wednesday, and Baylor on Saturday for the Big 12/ SEC challenge.
2. Auburn (17-2, 5-1) – Despite dropping a mid week game on the road at Alabama, the Auburn Tigers rebounded Saturday against Georgia and got a huge 79-65 win at home. The Tigers control their own destiny in SEC play with a few weeks until the SEC tournament.
3. Tennessee (13-5, 4-3) – The Volunteers dropped a hard fought game road game at Missouri 59-55, but came out Saturday with vengeance with a huge road win at South Carolina 70-63.
4. Alabama (13-6, 5-2) – The Crimson Tide are riding a huge four game winning streak in conference play after starting rather sluggish. Alabama looks to continue this momentum this week with two challenging game. The first is a road game at Ole Miss, and then back home to face talented freshman Trae Young and the talented Oklahoma Sooners. This week for the Crimson Tide has the potential to be a season changer.
5. Kentucky (14-5, 4-3) – John Calipari’s young Wildcats face an uphill challenge after dropping two straight games against unranked teams. The Wildcats started the week with an embarrassing road loss at South Carolina. After leading as much as 17, the Wildcats let the Gamecocks back in to lose 76-68. On Saturday -in front of a crazy Rupp Arena home crowd – the Wildcats lacked the will to win in a two point loss to the Florida Gators. The young Wildcats will have a challenging week as they play host to Mississippi State on Tuesday then travel to Morgantown, WV to face the West Virginia Mountaineers.
6. Arkansas (13-6, 3-4) – The Razorbacks have struggled a bit on the road this season, but at home the Hogs are close to unbeatable. Arkansas went 1-1 on the week with a Wednesday night road loss at Florida and then back home Saturday to beat Ole Miss 97-93. The Razorbacks have two winnable games this week as they travel to Georgia on Tuesday and back home Saturday to face a scrappy Oklahoma State team.
7. Missouri ( 13-6, 3-3) – Missouri started the week with a huge home win over the mighty Volunteers 59-55, then turned around and lose by 11 on the road at Texas A&M. The Tigers have two quality games this week as they play host to Auburn Wednesday night, and at Mississippi State on Saturday.
8. Georgia (12-6, 3-4) – Georgia is on the cusp of becoming the SEC ninth team in for the NCAA tournament. Georgia is a very scrappy team who won one and lost one this week. The Bulldogs won on the road at LSU by one point. They then had a huge lead at Auburn, but just lost the refuse to lose attitude. Georgia will have a tough week this week as they host Arkansas on Tuesday night before traveling to Kansas State on Saturday. If the Bulldogs can find a way to win both games this week, they will be in the consideration for a bid to the big dance.
9. South Carolina (12-7, 3-4) – Fresh off a huge upset of the Kentucky Wildcats on Super Tuesday, the Gamecocks came up just shy of another upset on Saturday losing 70-63 to the Tennessee Volunteers. South Carolina will have one of the most challenging weeks they have faced all year with a road game Wednesday night at Florida and back home to face a very good Texas Tech team on Saturday.
10. Texas A&M (13-6, 2-5) – The Aggies are hot and rolling coming off back back to wins. The Texas A&M that we have expected all season is finally coming around. With two home wins in a row, the Aggies will face two huge road tests this week as they head to LSU on Tuesday night and then to Kansas on Saturday. The Aggies will try to continue this momentum with wins this week over two tournament teams.
11. Ole Miss (10-9, 3-4) – Ole Miss is coming into this week riding a two game losing streak with both losses coming down to the wire on the road against Texas A&M on Tuesday and then a five point loss at Arkansas. The Rebels will face Alabama at home on Tuesday night and then on the road Saturday to face Texas.
12. Mississippi State (14-5, 2-4) – Mississippi State is a team looking for an identity after a huge win at home against Vanderbilt and a road loss at Alabama. Mississippi State will have one road game this week as they travel to face a struggling Kentucky team then back home to host Missouri.
13. LSU (11-7, 2-4) – LSU is entering this week with back to losses to Georgia at home then at Vanderbilt. LSU is looking to snap that losing streak this week with Texas A&M at home Tuesday night, then on the road at Auburn on Saturday.
14. Vanderbilt (7-12, 2-5) – Vanderbilt is coming off a huge home win against LSU and the Commodores are looking to salvage the season as we get into the grit of the SEC schedule. Vanderbilt will travel to Knoxville Tuesday night to square off against arch rival Tennessee, before heading back home to face TCU.
NCAA Tournament outlook:
1. Florida ( RPI, 34)
2. Auburn ( RPI, 9)
3. Tennessee ( RPI, 14)
4. Alabama ( RPI, 27)
5. Kentucky ( RPI, 12)
6. Arkansas ( RPI, 25)
1. Georgia ( RPI, 46)
2. Texas A&M (RPI, 35)
3. Missouri ( RPI, 31)
Needs more work-
1. South Carolina
2. Ole Miss
As we gear up for another exciting week in the Southeastern Conference let’s us all enjoy the greatness that is the SEC. These rankings are bound to change from week to week just enjoy the process.
SEC beat writer