In & around SEC men’s basketball

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Auburn week in review

Auburn’s losing streak continued over the weekend. The Tigers fell to Te-nnessee, 71-63, in Bruce Pearl’s return to Knoxville. K.T. Harrell scored 16 points in the loss, while guards Antoine Mason and Tahj Shamsid-Deen scored 14 points each. Auburn fell to 10-11 overall, and 2-6 in league play. The Tigers return home to take on Ole Miss on Saturday (Feb. 7). 

Alabama week in review 

Alabama split a pair of games in the last week, in-cluding a home win over Missouri. The win over the Tigers was much needed for the Crimson Tide, but they still have quite a bit of work to do to have a chance at making the NCAA Tournament. Kentucky handled Alabama easily on Saturday in Lexington, but the Tide still has a 14-8 record overall and 4-5 in conference play. Alabama travels to Baton Rouge to take on LSU on Saturday. 

SEC men’s basketball rankings 

1. Kentucky (22-0, 9-0)

2. Arkansas (17-5, 6-3)

3. Texas A&M (15-6, 6-3)

4. Ole Miss (15-7, 6-3)

5. LSU (16-5, 5-3)

6. Georgia (14-7, 5-4)

7. Tennessee (13-8, 5-4)

8. Florida (12-10, 5-4)

9. Alabama (14-8, 4-5)

10. Mississippi State (11-11, 4-5)

11. Vanderbilt (12-10, 2-7)

12. Auburn (10-11, 2-6)

13. South Carolina (11-10, 2-7)

14. Missouri (7-15, 1-8)

Week 5 Previews and Predictions 

Week 4: 8-5; season: 13-7

Saturday, Feb. 7

Tennessee at Georgia. This is the biggest bubble game of the week in the SEC, and it’s a game both teams desperately need. The Bulldogs have had several injuries over the last couple of weeks, but they’re a team that still has a good chance of making the NCAA Tournament. Tennessee lost a home game to Mississippi State despite a great performance by Josh Richardson, and the Vols have quite a bit of work to do for the NCAA resume. Prediction: Georgia 58, Tennessee 53

Mississippi State at Arkansas. Mississippi State has gradually improved throughout the season under Rick Ray, and the Bulldogs have defeated both LSU and Tennessee in the last week. Arkansas was narrowly defeated by Florida on the road, but the Hogs are still in good shape for a postseason bid. Prediction: Arkansas 75, Mississippi State 63. 

South Carolina at Vanderbilt. Neither team has any chance of making the NCAAs, but any win would be a confidence boost for these struggling squads. Prediction: Vanderbilt 63, South Carolina 60. 

Alabama at LSU. LSU has one of the most talented rosters in the SEC but has been inconsistent throughout much of the season. A blowout win over Florida was followed by an inexplicable loss to Mississippi State. The Tigers have beaten several quality teams, but they’re also the only SEC team to lose to Missouri. LSU needs to beat Alabama and take care of the lesser teams in the SEC. Otherwise, the Tigers might be in jeopardy of missing the NCAA Tournament, which would be a shame for a team with this much talent. Prediction: LSU 71, Alabama 65. 

Texas A&M at Missouri. Mizzou has been the punching bag for the rest of the SEC for most of the year. It’s been a major rebuilding year for Kim Anderson, who’s in his first season as head coach in Columbia. On the other hand, Texas A&M has been a major surprise in the league. The Aggies are in position to earn a bid to the Big Dance as long as they can avoid any catastrophic losses along the way. Prediction: Texas A&M 67, Missouri 56. 

Ole Miss at Auburn. Over the past month, Ole Miss has accumulated several great wins that have bolstered its tournament resume. Wins over Texas A&M and Arkansas – the latter coming on the road – have the Rebels firmly in the hunt for the NCAAs, but they still have work to do. Losing to a struggling Auburn team on Saturday must be avoided for the Rebels. Prediction: Ole Miss 75, Auburn 71. 

Kentucky at Florida. A year after the Gators made the Final Four, it’s looking more and more likely that they’ll miss the NCAA Tournament altogether. At 12-10, Florida is in trouble. The Gators still have two meetings with Kentucky remaining on the schedule, and those both look like losses. Unless Florida can make a run the rest of this month, they’re likely to be on the outside looking in this year. Meanwhile, Kentucky is still on track to finish the year unde-feated. The Wildcats are getting better and better each week. Prediction: Kentucky 72, Florida 60. 

Tuesday, Feb. 10

Kentucky 74, LSU 67; Arkansas 73, Auburn 65; South Carolina 61, Missouri 55; Mississippi State 57, Alabama 54

Wednesday, Feb. 11

Texas A&M 65, Georgia 60; Vanderbilt 58, Tennessee 55

Thursday, Feb. 12

Florida 64, Ole Miss 62

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