Every SEC team was in action Saturday – the question now is if any of them besides Florida and Missouri will be playing in the NCAA tournament. Monday Breitbart Sports listed only two SEC teams as “locks” for NCAA bids, and we said Mississippi, Kentucky and Tennessee were out of the tournament at the 10th, 11th and 12th spots in the Breitbart Sports Middle 20. How bad is the SEC this year?
Alabama was second in the conference and did not even make our Middle 20 as a team with a chance. While the Big Ten and Big East had seven locks, Saturday made it more likely the SEC could only get two. According to Ken Pomeroy (www.kenpom.com) , the SEC is not only worse than all of the other Power/BCS conferences, but worse than the Mountain West conference as well. So when the conference teams on the bubble lose games to lower teams they plunge, and that happened in every game Saturday.
The most embarrassing setback came in Starkville, where Mississippi lost to a Mississippi State team that had lost 13 straight games. Mississippi has relied on the SEC’s leading scorer Marshall Henderson, but he went only 3 of 18 on 3-pointers as Mississippi lost their 6th in 10 games.
Arkansas continued to show that Kentucky without Nerlens Noel does not deserve an NCAA bid as Coty Clarke overpowered the Wildcats for 14 points and 12 rebounds in a 73-60. Kentucky has not shown they can win off their home court without Noel, as they were led by Archie Goodwin (14 points), Willie Cauley-Stein ( 13) and Ryan Harrow (10).
Breitbart Sports’ favorite for SEC Player of the Year Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 25 points to play spoiler against Tennessee 78-68, halting a late run Tennessee was making for a bid. The Vols’ six-game winning streak ended despite Jordan McRae’s eight 3-pointers and 35 points.
Alabama was not even in the Breitbart Sports Middle 20, but they held an 11-point led at Florida Saturday before being overrun by Casey Prather’s 10 points and nine rebounds in a 64-52 win for Florida. Others have Alabama within a few spots of the tournament.
|SEC Team||Wins||Losses||Today and NCAA chances|
|Florida||13||3||National contender, crushed Bama’s hopes as expected.|
|Kentucky||11||5||We said they were out first – blown out by Arkansas today.|
|Alabama||11||5||Close call on if they are good enough for NIT.|
|Mississippi||10||6||Looked in the tourney, but loss to 277th-ranked Mississippi State today could kill them.|
|Missouri||10||6||Got to the SEC just in time to guaranty 2 conference bids.|
|Tennessee||9||7||Was making a late run until 10-point upset to Georgia.|
|Arkansas||9||7||Crushed Kentucky, but coming on too late.|
|Louisiana St.||8||8||Crushed at Missouri.|
|Georgia||8||8||May have ended Tennessee hopes, 78-68.|
|Vanderbilt||7||9||Beat hapless Auburn in meaningless game; rebuilding year.|
|Texas A&M||7||9||Solid team, but not NCAA.|
|Auburn||3||13||One of terrible three, but ruined Bama’s chances a few weeks ago.|
|South Carolina||3||13||Building quickly, but not there yet.|
|Mississippi St.||3||13||One of worst teams in the country stunned Mississippi.|