In & around SEC basketball


Alabama Week 9 Review

Alabama lost a crucial home game to Arkansas on Wednesday (Mar. 2) that might keep the Crimson Tide out of the NCAA Tournament. Avery Johnson’s team had its chances down the stretch, but they lost to the Razorbacks, 62-61, at Coleman Coliseum. The Tide dropped to 17-12 overall and 8-9 in conference play. Alabama travels to Athens to take on Georgia this Saturday (Mar. 5). 

Auburn Week 9 Review

The Tigers dropped a pair of games last week, including a 65-57 loss to in-state rival Alabama. Auburn also lost at home to Texas A&M on Senior Night and likely will be competing in the play-in game at the SEC Tournament next Wednesday (Mar. 9). The Tigers dropped to 11-18 overall and 5-12 in conference play. AU closes out the regular season this Saturday in Starkville against Mississippi State. 

SEC rankings

1. Kentucky (22-8, 12-5)

2. Texas A&M (23-7, 12-5)

3. Vanderbilt (19-11, 11-6)

4. South Carolina (23-6, 10-6)

5. LSU (18-12, 11-6)

6. Ole Miss (19-11, 9-8)

7. Alabama (17-12, 8-9)

8. Florida (17-13, 8-9)

9. Georgia (15-12, 8-8)

10. Arkansas (16-14, 9-8)

11. Mississippi State (13-16, 6-11)

12. Tennessee (13-17, 6-11)

13. Auburn (11-18, 5-12)

14. Missouri (10-20, 3-14)

Week 10 Previews and Predictions

Week 9: 9-4; season: 66-34

Saturday, March 5

Ole Miss at Tennessee. The Rebels’ chances for an at-large bid were already low, but losing at Georgia certainly didn’t help matters. Ole Miss probably needs to win the SEC Tournament to make the NCAA Tournament. Prediction: Ole Miss 74, Tennessee 70. 

Vanderbilt at Texas A&M. No team in the SEC has improved its stock during the past week more than Vanderbilt. The Commodores went on the road and knocked off Florida and followed up with a great home win over Kentucky. Losing to Texas A&M wouldn’t hurt its resume, but a win might make the Nashville squad a lock for the NCAA Tournament. Kevin Stallings’ team is peaking at the right time. Prediction: Texas A&M 82, Vanderbilt 78. 

LSU at Kentucky. LSU’s at-large hopes are hanging by a thread, but last week’s win over Flo-rida kept the Tigers in the mix. Sweeping Kentucky would provide a solid boost to its resume, but LSU needs a strong showing in Nashville regardless of the outcome in Lexington. Kentucky has been inconsistent this year, but the Wildcats still flash signs of greatness on occasion. Prediction: Kentucky 84, LSU 77. 

Auburn at Mississippi State. The Bulldogs aren’t a great team by any stretch, but they’ve drastically improved over the last few weeks. Ben Howland has his team playing competitive basketball, as evidenced by recent wins over Alabama, Vanderbilt and South Carolina. The record might not show it, but MSU is a team to watch out for in the SEC Tournament. Prediction: Mississippi State 73, Auburn 62. 

Alabama at Georgia. After a string of impressive wins, Alabama looked to be close to a lock to make the NCAA Tournament. However, back-to-back losses to Mississippi State and Kentucky have the Crimson Tide back on the bubble, and the margin for error is slim. Losing to Georgia would put a lot of pressure on Alabama heading into Nashville next week. Prediction: Georgia 70, Alabama 68. 

South Carolina at Arkansas. South Carolina’s record is impressive but its overall resume is not. The score sheet includes solid wins (Vanderbilt, Florida, Alabama, at Texas A&M) and not many bad losses (at Mississippi State), but nothing particularly noteworthy. The Gamecocks probably aren’t on the bu-bble but must avoid bad losses down the stretch. Prediction: South Carolina 75, Arkansas 72. 

Florida at Missouri. A month ago, the Gators appeared to be locks for the NCAA Tournament. Florida had just beaten West Virginia and had a very solid resume. The Gators have lost five of their last six games, however, and a loss at Missouri would end any at-large chances. Prediction: Florida 73, Missouri 60. 

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