SEC Basketball Power Poll

Posted on Feb 29 2016 - 11:53pm by Brian Scott Rippee

Texas A&M– Since hitting a stretch where they lost four in a row and five of six, the Aggies have rebounded. Texas A&M has won four in a row and returned to the mid-January form that made them the most dangerous team in the SEC. This team averages just under 18 assists per game, and that is due in large part to the play of Jaylen Jones and Alex Caruso. They’re only allowing 67 points per game in this stretch and will be a tough out in the NCAA tournament.

Kentucky– Kentucky fell victim to a game that Vanderbilt had to have over the weekend, losing 74-62 in Nashville. Kentucky has lost two of its last three, but is not really grounds for concern. The Cats are tied at the top of the SEC with Texas A&M at 11-5 with two games left against LSU and Florida. One would assume that winning the SEC regular season is the goal in their immediate future.

Vanderbilt– Someone must have shown Kevin Stallings what they were saying about him on Twitter this time a week ago, because his team has done a 180-degree turn since. The Commodores went down to Florida and won last week before returning home to beat Kentucky by double digits. This has been a strange year in Nashville, but maybe, just maybe, they are figuring out and turning into a second weekend NCAA tournament team like most thought in November.

South Carolina – Frank Martin’s team lost on the road to a Mississippi State team that is making a habit of ruining people’s seasons late in the year. The Gamecocks have 23 wins and are comfortably in the NCAA tournament for now, but many questions still surround this team as far as consistency goes.

Florida – Florida is sweating it just a bit; they have lost three in a row are projected as one of the last four teams in the tournament. Michael White has done a tremendous job in his first year, with big shoes to fill in replacing Billy Donavan, but this team is losing at the wrong time. The Gators must have a 2-0 week to feel safe in the tournament as they face Kentucky and Missouri.

Alabama – Like Florida, Alabama has much work to do. Also like Florida, first-year head coach Avery Johnson has done an outstanding job. The Tide are on the first four out and will need to win out and win a game or two in the SEC tournament to cap off a season that has exceeded expectations.

LSU – I have no clue how a team with this much talent can be this mediocre. The No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft this summer might (will probably) participate in the NIT. That’s almost impressively awful.
Georgia – This team beat Ole Miss Saturday, adding one more team to the SEC NIT party. The Bulldogs will also be at that party.

Ole Miss – The Rebels were on NCAA tournament life support, and their hopes for an at-large bid ended in Athens this weekend with a loss to Georgia.

Mississippi State – This team is playing great basketball, and if I’m one of those bubble teams working for an NCAA tournament bid, I’m really not wanting to draw Mississippi State in the SEC tournament. The Bulldogs will beat someone they are not supposed to in the SEC tournament, and Ben Howland is building serious momentum going into next year.

Arkansas– The Razorbacks are 15-14 (8-8). That’s so average it hurts.

Tennessee– The Vols have a chance to put their instate rival back in the ever-so-shaky NCAA tournament bubble as they play Vanderbilt this week. That’s at least some motivation to finish strong.

Auburn – Injuries suck — ask the Tigers. Brighter days are ahead for this program.

Missouri – Hang in there. It’s almost over. I’m sorry.

– Brian Scott Rippee