After weeks and weeks of chaos, the SEC is starting to make a little more sense.
Of course, that probably means that we’re in for a week where all the underdogs win.
Let’s get to this week’s rankings.
1. Florida (22-5, 12-2)
The Gators won their eighth straight game on Saturday when they won an ugly game at Mississippi State. They didn’t play their best basketball in their first game without John Egbunu, and we’ll get a real sense of how Florida may fare without him in the two challenging games this week.
This week: vs. South Carolina, at Kentucky
2. Kentucky (22-5, 12-2)
It was yet another difficult road test for Kentucky over the weekend, but the Wildcats managed to hold off Georgia in Athens. This team will have no trouble at Missouri before coming home for a revenge game against the Gators.
This week: at Missouri, vs. Florida
3. South Carolina (20-7, 10-4)
As I mentioned in Sunday’s SEC notebook, it’s not time for the Gamecocks to panic just yet. However, this is an important week. Losing both games this week would certainly make South Carolina fans a little uneasy heading into March.
This week: at Florida, vs. Tennessee
4. Arkansas (20-7, 9-5)
A week after I dropped them all the way to seventh in the rankings, the Razorbacks jump back up to fourth. Arkansas had its best week of the season in beating South Carolina and Ole Miss, and its NCAA tournament hopes took a big step forward.
This week: vs. Texas A&M, at Auburn
5. Alabama (16-10, 9-5)
The Crimson Tide avoided a devastating blow to their NCAA chances by beating both Missouri and LSU this past week. Another 2-0 week would put Alabama in serious at-large consideration heading into the last two games of the season.
This week: vs. Georgia, at Texas A&M
6. Tennessee (15-12, 7-7)
After losing three of four, the Vols got back on track in a blowout win over Missouri. Rick Barnes and his team have a massive week ahead, as wins over Vandy and South Carolina would make Tennessee the overwhelming favorite to land the league’s fifth NCAA bid.
This week: vs. Vanderbilt, at South Carolina
7. Vanderbilt (14-13, 7-7)
For those wondering how the Commodores are in the NCAA picture, here are tournament teams that Vandy has beaten this season: Florida, Iowa State, Arkansas, and South Carolina. Winning at Tennessee on Wednesday would be massive.
This week: at Tennessee, vs. Mississippi State
8. Georgia (15-12, 6-8)
The good news for Georgia is that Yante Maten’s knee injury isn’t as serious as it looked. The bad news for Georgia is that winning out is probably the best chance that JJ Frazier and company have of making the NCAA tournament.
This week: at Alabama, vs. LSU
9. Ole Miss (16-11, 7-7)
While some have the Rebels in the discussion for an at-large bid, Ole Miss still has a lot of work to do. This week’s games won’t do anything for this team’s resume, and losing either would end the Rebels’ chances.
This week: at Mississippi State, vs. Missouri
10. Texas A&M (14-12, 6-8)
After losing close games at Florida and Vanderbilt, the Aggies bounced back with a nice win over Auburn. If there’s a team that could spoil the fun for NCAA bubble teams in the last two weeks of the season and SEC tournament, it’s Texas A&M.
This week: at Arkansas, vs. Alabama
11. Auburn (16-11, 5-9)
Defense is the reason the Tigers have fell this low in the rankings. Considering the type of defense that both teams have played as of late, Tuesday night’s showdown against LSU may feature both teams hitting triple-digits in scoring.
This week: at LSU, vs. Arkansas
12. Mississippi State (14-12, 5-9)
The Bulldogs are still learning what it takes to win close games against good teams. Once they figure that out, they’ll be hard to beat given all the young talent on the roster.
This week: vs. Ole Miss, at Vanderbilt
13. Missouri (7-19, 2-12)
Missouri nearly won a third straight home game, but fell short against Alabama last week. Tuesday’s game against Kentucky may not be pretty.
This week: vs. Kentucky, at Ole Miss
14. LSU (9-17, 1-13)
There’s little hope left for the Johnny Jones era in Baton Rouge.
This week: vs. Auburn, at Georgia
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