In & around SEC basketball – Week 2 review


By Cole Frederick

Auburn Week 2 Review

After beginning conference play with a road loss at Ole Miss, the Tigers bounced back and won two straight games by double digits over Georgia and Texas A&M. Auburn took care of the Bulldogs, 93-78, and followed that up with an 85-66 victory over the Aggies. Bryce Brown scored 22 points for Auburn in the win over Texas A&M, and the Tigers hit 13 three-pointers on the night. Auburn improved to 13-3 on the year and 2-1 in league play. The Tigers return home this Saturday (Jan. 19) for a conference showdown against Kentucky at Auburn Arena.

Alabama Week 2 Review

Through four conference games, Avery Johnson’s team has been among the most inconsistent in the SEC. The Crimson Tide have wins over Kentucky and Missouri but also have losses against LSU and Texas A&M and blew a double-digit lead in the home loss to the Aggies. Alabama has a challenging slate of games upcoming, including on the road at Tennessee this Saturday. UA improved to 11-5 overall and 2-2 in the SEC with the road win at Missouri.

SEC basketball rankings

1. Tennessee (15-1, 4-0)

2. Auburn (13-3, 2-1)

3. Kentucky (13-3, 3-1)

4. LSU (13-3, 3-0)

5. Ole Miss (13-3, 3-1)

6. Miss. State (13-3, 1-2)

7. Alabama (11-5, 2-2)

8. South Carolina (9-7, 4-0)

9. Florida (9-7, 1-3)

10. Arkansas (10-6, 1-3)

11. Missouri (9-6, 0-3)

12. Vanderbilt (9-7, 0-4)

13. Georgia (9-7, 1-3)

14. Texas A&M (7-8, 1-3)

Week 3 Previews

and Predictions

Saturday, Jan. 19

Game of the Week

Kentucky at Auburn. The Wildcats and Tigers are both chasing Tennessee in the SEC, but either squad is capable of winning the conference. Before Bruce Pearl took over at Auburn, the Tigers had not beaten Kentucky since 2000. Auburn has won the last two of three meetings against the Wildcats, however, including both matchups at Auburn Arena. The Tigers are one of the best home teams in college basketball, and the Wildcats will need a great shooting night to pull off the road win. Prediction: Auburn 87, Kentucky 82.

Florida at Georgia. Before the season, analysts ex-pected Florida to contend for an NCAA Tournament berth. Instead, the Gators have struggled, and their tournament chances have taken a hit so far in conference play. To keep those chances alive, Florida can’t afford a loss at Georgia. Tom Crean is rebuilding the Bulldogs but they’re still dangerous at home. Prediction: Florida 79, Georgia 77.

Arkansas at Ole Miss. While the season has two months left, Kermit Davis is an early contender for SEC Coach of the Year. Davis has the Rebels at the top of the league and in contention for an NCCA Tournament berth. Ole Miss has been great at home, though the Rebels just lost to LSU in Oxford. Arkansas has stru-ggled on the road under Mike Anderson, and the Razorbacks will have trouble keeping up with the Rebels in Oxford. Prediction: Ole Miss 80, Arkansas 73.

Alabama at Tennessee. The Volunteers aren’t just the best team in the SEC; they might be the best team in the country. Tennessee has been dominant this year and so far has cruised in conference play. Outside of Kansas and Gonzaga, every team the Vols played so far has looked inferior, and UT is in position to earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. If Alabama can pull off the major upset in Knoxville, it would do wonders for its tournament resume. Prediction: Tennessee 82, Alabama 71.

Missouri at Texas A&M. Neither the Tigers nor the Aggies are destined to make the postseason, and both Cuonzo Martin and Billy Kennedy are navigating through a rebuilding season. It isn’t a lost cause for either team, but it will be challenging for them to compete in a very difficult SEC. Prediction: Texas A&M 68, Missouri 65.

South Carolina at LSU. Not many expected South Carolina and LSU to be two of the final three undefeated teams remaining in conference play, but both squads have played very well in the last few weeks. Frank Martin has the Gamecocks at 4-0 in the SEC, including impressive road wins at Florida and Vanderbilt. Will Wade has LSU in great shape for an NCAA Tour-nament berth, and both teams will be out to prove that their hot starts are not a fluke. Prediction: LSU 75, South Carolina 70.

Mississippi State at Vanderbilt. Expectations were high surrounding Ben Howland’s Mississippi State squad entering this season, but the Bulldogs lost their first two league games to South Carolina and Ole Miss. It would be easy to overlook Vanderbilt with Kentucky and Auburn on deck, but the Bulldogs cannot afford to look ahead and lose to the Commodores. Prediction: Mississippi State 81, Vanderbilt 80.

Tuesday, Jan. 22

Auburn 72, South Carolina 68

Kentucky 82, Mississippi State 75

Florida 78, Texas A&M 70

Alabama 71, Ole Miss 67

Wednesday, Jan. 23

Tennessee 85, Vanderbilt 75

LSU 77, Georgia 71

Arkansas 75, Missouri 71

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