In & around SEC men’s basketball

By Cole FrederickBy Cole Frederick

Auburn Week 3 Recap 

Auburn’s SEC losing streak increased to 16 games after the Tigers lost to Arkansas, 86-67, last weekend. Auburn now has lost 21 of 22 games in conference play. The Tigers have two winnable games upcoming, including a home game against Georgia and a road game at South Carolina. Another loss by Auburn would set the conference record for most consecutive losses. Auburn’s record dropped to 8-9 overall and 0-6 in league play. 

Alabama Week 3 Recap 

The Crimson Tide split a pair of home games last week, losing to Florida, 68-62, and defeating LSU, 82-80. The Crimson Tide improved to 9-10 overall and 3-3 in conference play. Alabama faces Tennessee on Saturday (Feb. 1) at Coleman Coliseum, then travel to Bud Walton Arena on Wednesday (Feb. 5) to take on Arkansas. 

SEC Men’s Basketball Rankings

1. Florida (17-2, 6-0)

2. Kentucky (15-5, 5-2)

3. Missouri (16-4, 4-3)

4. Tennessee (13-7, 4-3)

5. Ole Miss (14-6, 5-2)

6. LSU (13-6, 4-3)

7. Arkansas (13-7, 2-5)

8. Vanderbilt (11-8, 3-4)

9. Georgia (10-9, 4-3)

10. Alabama (9-10, 3-3)

11. Mississippi State (13-6, 3-3)

12. Texas A&M (12-8, 3-4)

13. South Carolina (8-12, 1-6)

14. Auburn (8-9, 0-6)

Week 4 Previews and Predictions 

(Week 3: 6-6; season: 22-10)

Saturday, February 1

Georgia at Auburn. After starting conference play at 4-1, Georgia last week lost to Kentucky and Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs remain in contention for a first round bye in the conference tournament but cannot afford to lose to the Tigers. Auburn is still searching its first conference win of the season. Prediction: Auburn 63, Georgia 59. 

Kentucky at Missouri. The Wildcats suffered an ugly loss last week on the road at LSU, while Missouri picked up a crucial road win over Arkansas. Despite having one of the most talented rosters in college basketball, Kentucky has been inconsistent all season. Both of these teams are likely tournament teams, but each squad must improve in order to make a run in the Big Dance. Prediction: Missouri 75, Kentucky 72. 

South Carolina at Ole Miss. The Rebels defeated the Gamecocks a couple of weeks ago in Columbia, and this is a game Ole Miss cannot afford to lose if they want a NCAA Tournament bid. South Carolina finally picked up its first conference win over Texas A&M, but Frank Martin’s team has been horrendous on the road this season. Prediction: Ole Miss 66, South Carolina 50. 

Texas A&M at Florida. The Gators right now are playing as well as anyone in the country and have been dominant defensively. This might be Billy Donovan’s best team since 2007, when Florida won the national championship. Texas A&M has struggled in its first two seasons in the SEC. After winning an impressive road game at Tennessee a few weeks ago, the Aggies had disappointing losses against Vanderbilt and South Carolina. Prediction: Florida 83, Texas A&M 61. 

Arkansas at LSU. The Razorbacks were considered a bubble team two weeks ago but have fallen apart quickly. A loss to Te-nnessee and Missouri sent Arkansas towards the bottom of the SEC standings. On the other hand, LSU picked up its biggest win of the season last week against Kentucky. The Tigers also lost to Alabama, but the win over the Wildcats could help turn their season around. Prediction: LSU 76, Arkansas 71. 

Mississippi State at Vanderbilt. After losing several players to injury and suspension, Vanderbilt’s season looked to be in jeopardy. However, the Commodores won road games over Texas A&M and Georgia within five days. Mississippi State lost a road game at rival Ole Miss, although the Bulldogs did defeat the Rebels earlier in the season. Prediction: Vanderbilt 57, Mississippi State 51. 

Tennessee at Alabama. Tennessee has looked like a NCAA tournament team throughout most of the season, but occasionally the Vols have difficulty scoring, especially away from home. The Volunteers have some bad losses on their resume but do have several quality wins. Losing to Alabama wouldn’t be crippling, but a road win would be very bene-ficial to Cuonzo Martin’s squad. For Alabama, a win over a rival such as Tennessee is always special. Prediction: Tennessee 66, Alabama 63. 

Tuesday, Feb. 4

Kentucky 71, Ole Miss 62

Florida 73, Missouri 63

Wednesday, Feb. 5

South Carolina 64, Auburn 60

Arkansas 75, Alabama 70

Tennessee 70, Vanderbilt 65

Texas A&M 67, Mississippi State 63

Thursday, Feb. 6

LSU 72, Georgia 69

 
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