In & around SEC basketball

By Cole FrederickBy Cole Frederick

By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent 

Alabama women Week 5 recap

Alabama dropped two games last week to Georgia and Florida, falling to 12-10 overall and 2-7 in SEC play. The Crimson Tide has lost three straight games since defeating Auburn two weeks ago. Coach Wendell Hudson’s team will face Arkansas on Sunday (Feb. 10) before traveling to face Auburn on Feb. 17. 

Auburn women Week 5 recap

The losing streak continues for Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy’s squad. Auburn has lost six consecutive SEC games, and the Tigers are now 13-9 overall and 2-7 in conference play. Auburn faces Florida on Sunday (Feb. 10) and Alabama on Feb. 17. Both games are very winnable for the Tigers. While it is highly unlikely that Auburn will reach the NCAA tournament, the Tigers still have an opportunity to gain momentum before the SEC tournament next month. 

Auburn vs. Alabama men’s recap

The Auburn men’s basketball team defeated archrival Alabama, 49-37, in front of a packed house in Auburn Arena on Wednesday (Feb. 6). In the process, the Tigers delivered a crushing blow to the Crimson Tide’s NCAA tournament chances. While neither team played particularly well, the Tigers pulled away late in the second half to secure the victory. Alabama led 23-13 at halftime, but Auburn held the Crimson Tide to just 14 second half points. Tony Barbee picked up his first win in five tries against Alabama, an accomplishment that might help his job security at the end of the season. Auburn (9-13, 3-6) takes on Kentucky on Saturday (Feb. 9) and Arkansas on Feb. 13, while Alabama (14-8, 6-3) faces LSU on Saturday (Feb. 9) and Georgia on Tuesday (Feb. 12). 

SEC men’s rankings

  1. Florida (18-3, 8-1)

  2. Kentucky (16-6, 7-2)

  3. Ole Miss (18-4, 7-2)

  4. Missouri (16-5, 5-3)

  5. Arkansas (14-8, 5-4)

  6. Alabama (14-8, 6-3)

  7. Georgia (11-11, 5-4)

 8. LSU (13-7, 4-5)

  9. Texas A&M (13-8, 3-5)

  10. Auburn (9-13, 3-6)

  11. Tennessee (11-10, 3-6)

  12. Vanderbilt (8-13, 2-7)

  13. South Carolina (12-10, 2-7)

  14 Mississippi State (7-14, 2-7)

Week 6 Previews and Predictions (Week 4: 11-3; season: 42-20)

Saturday, Feb. 9

Arkansas at Vanderbilt. Arkansas dominated Florida at home last week in one of the most impressive performances by any team this season. However, the Razorbacks still have not won a road game in conference play. Vanderbilt is notoriously difficult to defeat in Nashville, and it will be difficult to trust the Hogs on the road until they can win a game away from home. Prediction: Vanderbilt 64, Arkansas 57. 

Auburn at Kentucky. Auburn finally ended their six-game losing streak with an impressive victory over Alabama. Kentucky ar-guably is playing its best basketball of the season, having won four consecutive games. The Wildcats thumped the Tigers soundly last month in Auburn, so the Tigers will have to play their best game of the season to knock off the ‘Cats in Lexington. Coach John Calipari is undefeated against Tony Barbee, his former player at Massachusetts. Coach Cal should be able to defeat his pro-tégé again on Saturday. Prediction: Kentucky 76, Auburn 62. 

Texas A&M at Georgia. The Bulldogs have been the most surprising team in the league over the last three weeks, having won five of their last six games. The Aggies are not playing well, and the Dawgs knocked them off earlier in the season in College Station. Prediction: Georgia 68, Texas A&M 63. 

Mississippi State at Florida. The Gators are coming off of their first loss in SEC play, and Billy Donovan’s squad will look to take out its frustration on the struggling Bulldogs. Florida defeated Mississi-ppi State by over 30 points earlier in the season, and this game could potentially be more lopsided than the first meeting between the schools. Prediction: Florida 86, Mississippi State 52.

LSU at Alabama. The Tigers picked up a pair of one-point wins last week over Mississippi State and Vanderbilt, but they might be catching the Crimson Tide at the wrong time. Alabama is fresh off of a stinging loss to archrival Auburn, and from this point forward the Crimson Tide should play with a sense of urgency. Prediction: Alabama 57, LSU 48. 

Game of the Week

Ole Miss at Missouri. The first time these teams met last month, Ole Miss easily won, 64-49. However, the Tigers were playing without Laurence Bowers, a catalyst for the Tigers’ offense. The Rebels have lost two of three games, and Missouri is a difficult place for opposing teams to play. Prediction: Missouri 76, Ole Miss 72. 

Sunday, Feb. 10

Tennessee at South Carolina. Both teams have struggled tremendously of late. At this point, neither team is a contender in the SEC. Tennessee has regressed in Coach Cuonzo Martin’s second year, while South Carolina is still transitioning into Frank Martin’s style of play. A win for either team would be beneficial for the confidence of each program moving forward. Prediction: Tennessee 65, South Carolina 62. 

Tuesday, Feb. 12

FLORIDA 78, Kentucky 70

Alabama 62, GEORGIA 54

Wednesday, Feb. 13

Ole Miss 74, TEXAS A&M 68

Missouri 81, MISSISSIPPI STATE 65

VANDERBILT 60, Tennessee 56

AUBURN 64, Arkansas 59

Thursday, Feb. 14

SOUTH CAROLINA 67, Louisiana State 62

 
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