In & around SEC men’s basketball


Auburn week in review

After a rough start to the conference schedule, the Tigers finally picked up a big road win last week at LSU. KT Harrell and Antoine Mason both played exceptionally well for Auburn, and it was the first true road win of the year for Bruce Pearl’s team. The Tigers followed up that win with losses to Ole Miss and Arkansas. Entering this weekend, Auburn is 11-13 overall and 3-8 in league play. The Tigers travel to Athens to take on Georgia on Saturday (Feb. 14).

Alabama week in review 

The Crimson Tide split a pair of games last week but still have a long way to go before they can be considered for a NCAA Tournament bid. The defeat at LSU wasn’t a bad loss for the resume, but the win at Mississippi State doesn’t really move the needle, either. Alabama’s next two games – home for Vanderbilt and at Auburn – are must-wins for the Tide if they want in the mix for a tournament bid. Alabama currently is 15-9 overall and 5-6 in conference play. 

SEC men’s basketball rankings 

1. Kentucky (24-0, 11-0)

2. Arkansas (19-5, 8-3)

3. Ole Miss (16-7, 7-3)

4. Georgia (16-7, 7-4)

5. Texas A&M (16-7, 7-4)

6. LSU (17-7, 6-5)

7. Tennessee (14-9, 6-5)

8. Florida (12-11, 5-5)

9. Alabama (15-9, 5-6)

10. Mississippi State (11-13, 4-7)

11. Vanderbilt (13-11, 3-8)

12. Auburn (11-13, 3-8)

13. South Carolina (12-11, 3-8)

14. Missouri (7-17, 1-10)

Week 6 Previews and Predictions 

Week 5: 10-3; season: 23-10

Saturday, Feb. 14

Auburn at Georgia. While the Bulldogs’ NCAA Tournament stock is trending up at the moment, they cannot afford any more bad losses. Auburn plays hard in every game but still does not have the talent to match up with most of the teams in the SEC on a consistent basis. Prediction: Georgia 65, Auburn 56. 

South Carolina at Kentucky. Kentucky’s quest of finishing the season undefeated is still intact, although LSU did give the Wildcats a scare in Baton Rouge. The Wildcats shouldn’t have much of a problem on Saturday in Lexington. Prediction: Kentucky 76, South Carolina 52. 

LSU at Tennessee. Tennessee’s NCAA Tournament hopes are hanging by a thread, and the Volunteers need to start compiling victories now. LSU looks like a tournament team some nights, and others the Tigers look destined for the NIT. Failing to reach the NCAAs would not be a good outcome for Johnny Jones, considering that he probably has the second most talented roster in the SEC. Prediction: LSU 71, Tennessee 68.

Mississippi State at Missouri. It’s been a really rough season for Missouri. The Tigers have only one conference win to date and only seven wins on the year. Saturday’s contest against Mississippi State is winnable, but Rick Ray’s Bulldogs have improved throughout the course of the season. Prediction: Mississippi State 65, Missouri 61. 

Florida at Texas A&M. Much like Georgia and Ole Miss, Texas A&M is in pretty good shape in regards to reaching the Big Dance. However, the Aggies still need wins, and while losing to Florida wouldn’t necessarily be a backbreaker, they can’t afford to lose home games. Prediction: Texas A&M 64, Florida 60. 

Vanderbilt at Alabama. Vanderbilt’s season started out with promise, but the Commodores have faltered in conference play. Kevin Stallings’ team has several close losses and might not even make the NIT this year. Alabama needs this win badly, while Anthony Grant needs this win for job security. Prediction: Alabama 61, Vanderbilt 54. 

Arkansas at Ole Miss. Ole Miss is one of the hottest teams in the country right now. The Rebels are winners of five consecutive games, and if the NCAA Tournament started today, they’d certainly be in the field. Arkansas is also playing well and is looking to avenge a home loss to the Rebels from earlier in the season. Prediction: Ole Miss 82, Arkansas 78.

Tuesday, Feb. 17

Auburn 62, Alabama 58

Georgia 64, South Carolina 52

Texas A&M 75, LSU 73

Kentucky 68, Tennessee 55

Wednesday, Feb. 18

Florida 67, Vanderbilt 62

Arkansas 83, Missouri 65

Thursday, Feb. 19

Ole Miss 70, Mississippi State 67

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