In & around SEC basketball


Alabama Week 7 Review
The Crimson Tide won back-to-back games last week after dropping a home game against Kentucky. Alabama knocked off Missouri on the road, 57-54, and followed that up with a 90-72 win over LSU. Those wins didn’t do much to bolster the Tide’s NCAA Tournament resume, since LSU and Missouri are the two worst teams in the SEC, but avoiding losses against those teams didn’t hurt Alabama’s chances. The Crimson Tide travels to College Station to take on Texas A&M on Saturday (Feb. 25).
Auburn Week 7 Review
Auburn ended a three-game losing skid with a dominating 98-75 road win over LSU. The win came on the heels of a 19-point road loss at Texas A&M, which likely ended Auburn’s NCAA Tournament at-large chances. The Tigers are still in position to qualify for the postseason, but it might be the NIT or CBI tournament unless they can make a run in the SEC Tournament. Auburn hosts Arkansas on Saturday at Auburn Arena.
SEC rankings
1. Kentucky (23-5, 13-2)
2. Florida (23-5, 13-2)
3. Arkansas (20-7, 9-5)
4. South Carolina (20-8, 10-5)
5. Ole Miss (17-11, 8-7)
6. Georgia (15-12, 6-8)
7. Tennessee (15-12, 7-7)
8. Auburn (17-11, 6-9)
9. Alabama (16-10, 9-5)
10. Vanderbilt (14-13, 7-7)
11.Tex A&M (14-12, 6-8)
12. Mississippi State (14-13, 5-10)
13. Missouri (7-20, 2-13)
14. LSU (9-18, 1-14)

Week 8 Previews and Predictions
Week 7: 9-2 ; season: 39-17
Saturday, Feb. 25
Game of the Week
Florida at Kentucky. The Gators won the first meeting between the two schools, and if they can pull off the upset on the road, they would have a good chance of winning the SEC regular season title. The Wildcats have been playing better since losing three of four games a few weeks ago and are catching an injured Florida team in Rupp Arena on Saturday. Prediction: Kentucky 77, Florida 70.
Tennessee at South Carolina. Last year, a late-season swoon kept South Carolina from making the NCAA Tournament. The Gamecocks aren’t playing their best ball of the season, but a stronger non-conference schedule and more quality wins has them in better position than they were a year ago. Still, South Carolina can’t afford to drop too many more games, especially at home. Prediction: South Carolina 65, Tennessee 61.
Missouri at Ole Miss. The Rebels are still hanging around on the bubble, but their resume remains void of quality wins. Beating Missouri won’t help the Rebels’ resume, but losing to them at home would knock them out of NCAA Tournament contention. Prediction: Ole Miss 80, Missouri 65.
Mississippi State at Vanderbilt. The Commodores have made improvements during Bryce Drew’s first season in Nashville and will be a tough matchup for anyone during the SEC Tournament. Mississippi State’s season has gone in the opposite direction, and the Bulldogs will likely be a bottom four team for the SEC Tournament. Prediction: Vanderbilt 76, Mississippi State 70.
LSU at Georgia. Georgia’s NCAA Tournament chances took a major hit after losing to Kentucky last week. The Bulldogs also lost center Yante Maten for the rest of the regular season due to injury. Georgia’s chances aren’t finished yet, but the Bulldogs need to go on a winning streak down the stretch. Prediction: Georgia 67, LSU 63.
Alabama at Texas A&M. Alabama is still on the bubble despite last week’s wins, and winning on the road over an improving Texas A&M team would only help the Tide’s chances. Avery Johnson’s team still needs marquee wins, and UA will have opportunities to pick some up over the next couple of weeks. Prediction: Alabama 64, Texas A&M 63.
Arkansas at Auburn. After Kentucky and Florida, Arkansas might be in the next best shape of any SEC team for the NCAA Tournament. The Razorbacks are likely in the field of 68 for now, and while losing at Auburn wouldn’t damage their hopes of ma-king the Big Dance, they could erase any doubt with a solid road win. Arkansas 91, Auburn 86.
Tuesday, Feb. 28
South Carolina 68, Miss. State 62; Texas A&M 73, Missouri 67; Kentucky 84, Vanderbilt 75
Wednesday, March 1
Auburn 78, Georgia 75; Florida 76, Arkansas 73; Tennessee 84, LSU 81; Alabama 67, Ole Miss 63

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