In & around SEC basketball


Alabama Week 8 Review

The Crimson Tide’s NCAA Tournament chances took a hit last week, as they dropped a pair of games to Kentucky and Mississippi State. The road loss to Kentucky won’t matter as much, but a home loss to Mississippi State could be potentially damaging for Alabama. The Tide needs to win both home games against Auburn and Arkansas next week to stay alive for the NCAA Tournament. 

Auburn Week 8 Review

The Tigers split a pair of games last week, including an 84-81 home victory over rival Georgia on Wednesday. Auburn improved to 11-16 overall and 5-10 in league play. The Tigers travel to Tuscaloosa to take on Alabama this Saturday (Feb. 27).

SEC Rankings

1. Kentucky (21-7, 11-4)

2. South Car. (23-5, 10-5)

3. Texas A&M (21-7, 10-5)

4. Vanderbilt (17-11, 9-6)

5. Florida (17-11, 8-7)

6. Alabama (16-11, 7-8)

7. Ole Miss (18-10, 8-7)

8. LSU (16-12, 9-6)

9. Georgia (14-12, 7-8)

10. Mississippi State (12-15, 5-10)

11. Tennessee (13-15, 6-9)

12. Arkansas (14-14, 7-8)

13. Auburn (11-16, 5-10)

14. Missouri (10-18, 3-12)

Week 9 Previews and Predictions

Week 8: 8-6; season: 57-30

Saturday, Feb. 27

Ole Miss at Georgia. Ole Miss still has an outside chance of making the NCAA Tournament but cannot afford another loss the rest of the regular season. The Rebels don’t have many good wins or bad losses, so they need a strong showing at the SEC Tournament. After Georgia’s loss to Auburn, the Bulldogs have no chance at receiving an at-large bid. Prediction: Ole Miss 74, Georgia 71. 

South Carolina at Mississippi State. Frank Martin is on the short list of coaches who deserve consideration for SEC Coach of the Year. The Gamecocks are going dancing and enjoying ing one of the best seasons in school history. Mississippi State has been playing better lately with recent wins over Vanderbilt and Alabama. Prediction: Mississippi State 71, South Carolina 68. 

Kentucky at Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt drastically improved its tournament chances with last week’s win at Florida, but a win over Kentucky would be even better for the Commodores. Kentucky is starting to play like a Final Four contender, and point guard Tyler Ulis is the frontrunner for SEC Player of the Year. Prediction: Vanderbilt 82, Kentucky 78. 

Texas A&M at Missouri. The Aggies are a lock to make the Big Dance and are in play for a top four seed. Texas A&M needs a strong finish to the season, but after last week’s win against Kentucky, they are in good shape heading into the postseason. Prediction: Texas A&M 68, Missouri 51. 

Auburn at Alabama. Auburn won the first meeting between these two back in January, but the Tigers have plummeted down the standings since then while the Crimson Tide emerged as a possible NCAA Tournament team. Alabama can’t afford to lose to Auburn again, and this is a great chance for the Tigers to play spoiler for their cross-state rivals. A win doesn’t make Alabama a lock for the tournament, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt. Prediction: Alabama 72, Auburn 57. 

Arkansas at Tennessee.  Neither the Razorbacks nor the Volunteers will be going dancing this year, but Tennessee has been very good at home in Rick Barnes’ first season. Prediction: Tennessee 73, Arkansas 68. 

Florida at LSU. LSU’s NCAA Tournament chances took a serious hit last week with a pair of losses to Arkansas and Tennessee. Unless the Tigers win the SEC Tournament, they are in serious jeopardy of missing the Big Dance. Florida is still in the mix for an at-large bid, but a road win at LSU might secure a bid for the Gators. Prediction: Florida 78, LSU 75. 

Tuesday, March 1

Kentucky 80, Florida 75

Vanderbilt 83, Tenn. 72

LSU 76, Missouri 62

Texas A&M 73, Auburn 65

Wednesday, March 2

Ole Miss 72, MSU 67

Alabama 68, Arkansas 59

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