And... the rankings are back.
The past week in the SEC has been a weird one to say the least. All the ranked teams, who are miles ahead of the rest of the conference in terms of skill level, won while most of the teams in the middle of the pack had at least one terrible loss, shaking up the bottom of the rankings.
South Carolina took a massive leap up the rankings, taking advantage of many teams simply self-destructing, and others had large falls.
There is truly never a dull moment in the SEC, and this week only proves that.
Auburn cemented their spot as “the best Tigers in SEC basketball” with their win over LSU. They have played like the best version of themselves these past couple Saturdays with big wins versus LSU and Kentucky. If only they can play that well during the week (but they still don’t deserve to drop because they do keep on winning)...
The Wildcats picked up two road wins: one against Tennessee and one against Vanderbilt. Not their hardest week in recent memory, but hey, they’ll take it.
LSU kicked their week off by giving Auburn all they had on the road, and they ended it with mounting a comeback... versus Missouri. Not the best week, but they are lucky that none of their counterparts decided to show up for two games either.
The Gators can be so good if they just weren’t so inconsistent. They decided to get blown out of the building against a weirdly rejuvenated Ole Miss team, and they followed that loss with a beatdown of Texas A&M. To be honest, though, who hasn’t been doing that as of late? I want to see this team’s true colors. Time is running out.
Justin Bowden may be the king of scoring points while simultaneously taking way too many shots to get there. Despite that, other players have been able to share the load, like Santiago Vescovi, who has been killing it over his last two games. The only reason I have them ranked over the next team is because of their first matchup, which makes it very fitting that they will be playing this weekend.
6. South Carolina
The Gamecocks are one of two teams not in the top 3 to go undefeated last week, although the skill level may not have been that high. The thing is, their wins were full-on blowouts. Once USC took the lead versus Texas A&M and Georgia, they never looked back. After being so low on this team just last week, my mindset has taken a complete 180 after Frank Martin inserted Alanzo Frink into the starting lineup. Let’s see if the defense continues its hot streak when the Vols come to town.
7. Mississippi State
In terms of results I did not expect to see, Mississippi State getting annihilated by Ole Miss tops that list. They came into the contest relatively hot, and they laid an egg. Mississippi State is just not the same caliber team on the road as opposed to in front of their fans. The schedule doesn’t get much easier for them either with games against Arkansas and South Carolina coming up next. No one will be throwing the Dogs any bones in the foreseeable future (pun 100% intended).
I really don’t know what to make of Arkansas anymore. The Razorbacks haven’t played a quality SEC game since... a month ago against Vanderbilt? Mason Jones was awful versus Tennessee in a game where his sidekick, Isaiah Joe, didn’t suit up. That doesn’t translate to success a good portion of the time. What looked like a potential solid season in the non-conference portion has officially turned into a nightmare.
The Crimson Tide watched two road matchups go to overtime this past week, and they split the two. The game versus Auburn wasn’t much to be ashamed of considering they made an SEC record 22 three-pointers, including this clutch shot to send them to an extra period.
22 3-PT FG— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) February 13, 2020
* SEC single-game record
59 3-PT attempts
* SEC single-game record
Alabama made history from beyond the arc. pic.twitter.com/3WfyideDot
Taking that much time just to beat Georgia was a little worry-some, on the other hand.
10. Ole Miss
Breein Tyree is on a tear having scored 63 in his last two games, and he has led the Rebels to three straight wins. Next up is Kentucky, so let’s see how he responds. It’s good to see the Rebels back to playing like themselves.
I think we saw what happens when a team puts all their focus on trying to stop Anthony Edwards... It worked. None of his teammates can capitalize on increased opportunities, and it’s simply depressing to watch. The Bulldogs have lost seven of their last eight games and are not making any kinds of improvement.
12. Texas A&M
The Aggies responded to a beatdown at the hands of South Carolina with another bad loss to Florida. That may be true, but they are STILL better than the two teams at the bottom.
Missouri seems to have finally learned how to score the basketball, but just as that happened, they decide to allow 79 to Arkansas and 82 to LSU. This team can’t catch any breaks. They played LSU close too, but I’m not talking about any moral victories.
Welcome back to the bottom, Vandy. Following their upset of LSU, they go 0-2 on the week, losing in double-digit fashion in both games. Hey, at least I gave them one week away from 14.