In & around SEC men’s basketball

By Cole FrederickBy Cole Frederick

Alabama Week 5 Recap 

The Crimson Tide split a pair of games last week, including a last-second victory over Ole Miss. After Rebel guard Jarvis Summers connected on two free throws, Alabama guard Trevor Releford buried a three-pointer from the top of the key to give the Tide a 67-64 victory. Although it led for over half of the game last Saturday, Alabama lost at Florida. Alabama’s record is now 10-14 on the season and 4-7 in conference play. The Crimson Tide travels to both South Carolina and Texas A&M next week. 

Auburn Week 5 Recap 

The Tigers lost a pair of close games last week to LSU and Kentucky. Auburn led Kentucky in the second half but could not get enough stops late in the game to pull off the upset. The Tigers dropped to 11-11 overall and 3-8 in league play. Auburn faces Mississippi State at home on Saturday (Feb. 15) and travel to Gainesville to take on Florida on Wednesday (Feb. 19).

SEC Men’s Basketball Rankings

1. Florida (22-2, 11-0)

2. Kentucky (19-5, 9-2)

3. Ole Miss (16-8, 7-4)

4. Tennessee (15-9, 6-5)

5. Missouri (16-7, 4-6)

6. LSU (15-8, 6-5)

7. Georgia (13-10, 7-4)

8. Arkansas (15-8, 4-6)

9. Vanderbilt (13-9, 5-5)

10. Texas A&M (14-10, 5-6)

11. Auburn (11-11, 3-8)

12. Alabama (10-14, 4-7)

13. Mississippi State (13-11, 3-8)

14. South Carolina (8-15, 1-9)

Week 6 Previews and Predictions 

(Week 5: 8-4; season: 40-17)

Saturday, Feb. 15

Mississippi State at Auburn. Auburn lost to Mississippi State earlier in the season in Starkville, but the Tigers improved as the season progressed. In a league full of bad road teams, the Bulldogs are among the worst. Prediction: Auburn 70, Mississippi State 61. 

Texas A&M at Vanderbilt. Both the Commodores and Aggies have been inconsistent all season. Vanderbilt has beaten quality teams at home but hasn’t been able to do much on the road. Texas A&M beat Tennessee on the road earlier this year but lost to South Carolina. A National Invitational Tournament bid is probably the best-case scenario for either team this year. Prediction: Vanderbilt 64, Texas A&M 58. 

Alabama at South Carolina. Alabama has yet to win a game outside of Coleman Coliseum this season. However, South Carolina is probably the worst team in the SEC. The Crimson Tide played Florida tough for most of the game last week, and this is a very winnable road game. Prediction: Alabama 63, South Carolina 56. 

Tennessee at Missouri. Both the Tigers and Volunteers are on the bubble right now for the NCAA Tournament. Missouri needs this win more than Tennessee, since it’s in Columbia, but a road win for the Vols would provide a major boost to their tournament resume. Prediction: Missouri 72, Tennessee 66. 

Ole Miss at Georgia. If the Rebels want a chance to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, beating Georgia is a must. Ole Miss plays both Kentucky and Florida at home in the next eight days and need to win at least one of the two games. Georgia has a surprising 7-4 record in the SEC, which might be enough for Mark Fox to keep his job. Prediction: Ole Miss 68, Georgia 65. 

LSU at Arkansas. The Tigers dominated the Razorbacks earlier in the season, but LSU has to make the difficult trip back to Fayetteville. Arkansas’s tournament chances are slim, but a win over fellow bubble team LSU would at least put the Hogs back in consideration. Prediction: Arkansas 74, LSU 67. 

Florida at Kentucky. The best two teams in the conference finally square off. The veteran Gators dominated everyone in the league thus far, but the Wildcats will be their toughest challenge yet. Kentucky is young but make up for it with incredible talent. John Calipari and Billy Donovan have three championships and seven Final Fours between them, and both coaches have championship-caliber talent again this season. Prediction: Kentucky 75, Florida 71. 

Tuesday, Feb. 18

Ole Miss 73, Kentucky 70

Tennessee 67, Georgia 60

Wednesday, Feb. 19

Florida 81, Auburn 55

LSU 77, Mississippi State 60

Missouri 72, Vanderbilt 61

Arkansas 78, South Carolina 62

Thursday, Feb. 20

Texas A&M 66, Alabama 60

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