In & around SEC basketball


Alabama Week 7 Review

Alabama drastically improved its NCAA Tournament chances with two road wins last week. The Crimson Tide knocked off Florida, 61-55, in Gainesville and defeated LSU, 76-69, in Baton Rouge. Avery Johnson’s team now has won five consecutive games and is in great position to make the tournament for the first time since the 2012 season. UA improved to 16-9 overall and 7-6 in league play. Alabama hosts Mississippi State this Saturday (Feb. 20) at Coleman Coliseum. 

Auburn Week 7 Review

Auburn picked up its first road win of the season Wednesday (Feb. 17) at Arkansas behind an excellent game from true freshman Bryce Brown. Brown scored a career-high 27 points on 9-for-14 shooting from three-point range, helping the Tigers end a seven-game losing streak. Auburn improved to 10-15 overall and 4-9 in conference play. The Tigers host Ole Miss this Saturday at Auburn Arena. 

SEC Rankings

1. Kentucky (19-6, 9-3)

2. LSU (16-10, 9-4)

3. South Carolina (21-5, 8-5)

4. Texas A&M (19-7, 8-5)

5. Florida (17-9, 8-5)

6. Vanderbilt (15-11, 7-6)

7. Alabama (16-9, 7-6)

8. Georgia (14-10, 7-6)

9. Ole Miss (16-10, 6-7)

10. Tennessee (12-13, 5-7)

11. Arkansas (12-14, 5-8)

12. Auburn (10-15, 4-9)

13. Missouri (10-16, 3-10)

Week 8 Previews and Predictions

Week 7: 7-7; season: 49-24

Saturday, Feb. 20

Florida at South Carolina. The Gators’ NCAA Tournament chances took a slight hit after their home loss to Alabama, but they are still in the mix. A tough schedule down the stretch doesn’t help matters, and Florida probably needs to split next its two games against the Gamecocks and Vanderbilt. South Carolina lost badly at home against Kentucky and followed that up with a bad road loss at Missouri. The record looks good now, but Florida can’t afford too many more losses. Prediction: South Carolina 71, Florida 67.

Georgia at Vanderbilt. Both teams remain alive in the NCAA Tournament hunt, but the margin for error is slim. Vanderbilt’s chances took a major hit after losing on a buzzer bea-ter to Mississippi State, and the Commodores can’t afford too many more losses. Prediction: Vanderbilt 76, Georgia 67. 

Mississippi State at Alabama. After back-to-back road wins, and with another massive road game coming up next week against Kentucky, this could be a trap game for the Crimson Tide. The Bulldogs took UA to overtime in Starkville earlier this year, and a loss to MSU would undo one of Bama’s great wins from last week. Prediction: Alabama 75, Mississippi State 71. 

Ole Miss at Auburn. Ole Miss’s NCAA Tournament chances are hanging by a thread, and the Rebels might need to win out to have a realistic chance. Auburn is looking to build on last week’s road win against Arkansas. Prediction: Ole Miss 70, Auburn 65. 

LSU at Tennessee. After the Tigers’ home loss to Alabama, they remain on the NCAA Tournament bubble. LSU is very talented but has not played consistently all year. Losing to Tennessee would be a bad look for a team with the future No. 1 pick in the NBA draft in Ben Simmons. Prediction: LSU 82, Tennessee 75. 

Kentucky at Texas A&M. After a great start to the season, the Aggies have had a rough few weeks in SEC play. Beating Kentucky would erase most doubt about Texas A&M entering the postseason, but Kentucky is playing as well as anyone right now. The Wildcats look poised to make another deep tournament run this March. Prediction: Kentucky 84, Texas A&M 77. 

Missouri at Arkansas. It’s been a tough year for both teams, although Missouri currently is working on a two-game winning streak in conference play. Prediction: Arkansas 76, Missouri 70.

Tuesday, Feb. 23

Kentucky 76, Alabama 65

LSU 75, Arkansas 72

Florida 73, Vanderbilt 69

Ole Miss 81, Missouri 67

Wednesday, Feb. 24

Georgia 67, Auburn 62

Texas A&M 72, Mississippi State 62

South Carolina 68, Tennessee 62

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