In & around SEC men’s basketball

By Cole FrederickBy Cole Frederick

 Auburn Week 4 Recap 

After losing six straight games to open conference play, Auburn won three in a row last week, including a 74-55 blowout over state rival Alabama in Auburn last Thursday (Jan. 30). The game was originally supposed to be played on Wednesday, but weather pushed the game back a day. Auburn also picked up victories over Georgia and South Carolina. The Tigers improved to 11-9 on the season and 3-6 in SEC play. Auburn travels to Baton Rouge to take on LSU on Saturday (Feb. 8), and face Kentucky next Tuesday (Feb 12) in Auburn. 

Alabama Week 4 Recap 

While Auburn won three straight games, Alabama lost three in a row. After losing to Auburn, the Crimson Tide dropped a home game to Tennessee and lost on the road at Arkansas. Alabama is 0-9 away from Coleman Coliseum this season. The Crimson Tide dropped to 9-13 on the year and 3-6 in league play. Alabama travels to Gainesville to take on Florida on Saturday before returning home to play Ole Miss next Tuesday (Feb. 11). 

SEC Men’s Basketball Rankings

1. Florida (20-2, 9-0)

2. Kentucky (17-5, 7-2)

3. Ole Miss (15-7, 6-3)

4. LSU (14-6, 5-3)

5. Missouri (16-6, 4-5)

6. Tennessee (14-8, 5-4)

7. Vanderbilt (13-8, 5-4)

8. Arkansas (14-8, 3-6)

9. Auburn (11-9, 3-6)

10. Texas A&M (13-9, 4-5)

11. Georgia (10-10, 4-5)

12. Alabama (9-13, 3-6)

13. Mississippi State (13-9, 3-6)

14. South Carolina (8-14, 1-8)

Week 5 Previews and Predictions 

(Week 4: 10-3; season: 32-13)

Saturday, Feb. 8

Alabama at Florida. The Gators were tested throughout most of the game against Missouri but pulled away in the second half for a 68-58 victory. Guards Casey Prather and Scottie Wilbekin have played exceptionally well for Billy Donovan this season. Florida freshman Chris Walker made his debut against Missouri, scoring four points and grabbing two rebounds in only seven minutes. Alabama is winless on the road this season, and the O’Connell Center is one of the toughest places to play in college basketball. Prediction: Florida 73, Alabama 54. 

Kentucky at Mississippi State. The Wildcats are starting to reach their potential, which is bad news for the rest of the league. Winning in Starkville shouldn’t be too difficult, although the Bulldogs have improved drastically in Rick Ray’s second year as head coach. Prediction: Kentucky 77, Mississippi State 63. 

South Carolina at Tennessee. Cuonzo Martin’s squad has the potential to be an NCAA Tournament team, but losses to teams like Vanderbilt severely hurt their resume. The Vols did pick up a win over Alabama but they are going to need a victory over Kentucky or Florida to solidify their tournament chances. A loss to South Carolina, the worst team in the league, would be devastating. Prediction: Tennessee 70, South Carolina 52. 

Arkansas at Vanderbilt. The Razorbacks are one of the league’s worst road teams and are playing in one of the league’s toughest venues. Vanderbilt knocked off rival Tennessee last Wednesday, and the Commodores have been the SEC’s most improved team over the last month. Prediction: Vanderbilt 57, Arkansas 50. 

Auburn at LSU. Auburn is bringing a three-game winning streak into Baton Rouge, but LSU has been great at home this season. LSU defeated Kentucky at home, and beat Missouri earlier in the season. LSU cannot afford to lose this game if it wants a chance to make the NCAA tournament. Prediction: LSU 66, Auburn 58. 

Missouri at Ole Miss. The Rebels have 15 wins on the season, but none of any value. A victory over Missouri is vital if the Re-bels want to make another trip to the Big Dance. Missouri also needs a big win, and winning on the road would be even more impressive. The winner of this game likely will find itself on the right side of the bubble for the time being. Ole Miss 72, Missouri 68. 

Texas A&M at Georgia. Both squads are pretty good at home and equally as bad on the road. Home court advantage is critical in the SEC. Neither team is making the NCAA tournament, but every game is big for SEC Tournament see-ding. Prediction: Georgia 61, Texas A&M 58. 

Tuesday, Feb. 11

Florida 67, Tennessee 62.

Ole Miss 66, Alabama 64. 

Wednesday, Feb. 12

Kentucky 71, Auburn 64. 

Vanderbilt 62, South Carolina 57.

Mississippi State 63, Georgia 59.

LSU 65, Texas A&M 62.

Thursday, Feb. 13

Missouri 76, Arkansas 65. 

 
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