Thursday, February 17, 2011

SEC East Standings

For the first time in several weeks, all of the teams in the SEC East have played the same number of conference games. So here are the standings (conference games only), along with points scored and points allowed by each team and the point differential:

Florida: 9-2 (790-712) (+78)
Vandy: 7-4 (820-788) (+32)
Kentucky: 6-5 (801-723) (+78)
Tennessee: 6-5 (738-702) (+36)
Georgia: 6-5 (792-763) (+30)
S. Carolina: 4-7 (712-764) (-52)

As you can see, it has been a very competitive race. Here is why Florida is in the lead (home team listed first):

1/11/11: Tennessee 75 - 81 Florida (OT)
1/25/11: Georgia 91 - 104 Florida (2 OT)
2/1/11: Florida 65 - 61 Vanderbilt (OT)
2/5/11: Florida 70 - 68 Kentucky (Knight missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer)
2/12/11: Florida 61 - 60 Tennessee (UT missed the last shot)

If you took the combined scores at the end of regulation for these five games, you would see that over that 200 minutes of basketball, the Gators outscored their opponents by only 3 points. Yet they went 5-0 in those games.

By the way, through their first 11 conference games last year, the UK Wildcats outscored their opponents 871-744 for a point differential of +127. They were 10-1 in those games. Interestingly, this year's team is actually giving up fewer points -- but they are also scoring far fewer points themselves.


  1. So how many SEC teams are likely to make the tournament and what kind of record will UK need to have to get in?

  2. I think the SEC will get somewhere between 4-6 teams into the tournament. Right now Joe Lunardi has the following six teams in:

    Florida (3 seed)
    Vandy (5 seed)
    Kentucky (5 seed)
    Tennessee (7 seed)
    Georgia (10 seed)
    Alabama (12 seed)

    That seems about right to me for now, although with UGA losing to Vandy last night, they may be playing their way out of the tournament. I think Alabama will have to get in -- despite their terrible non-conference record -- because their final conference record is going to be
    something like 13-3.

    UK, on the other hand, has a great non-conference record, with wins over Washington (neutral floor), Notre Dame, and Louisville (on the road). In fact, UK's RPI right now is at 15. So I think as long as they get to 20 wins, they will be in the tournament.

    One final point. I understand why Lunardi has the SEC teams seeded as he does, but if you look at the games they have played against each other, it seems clear that UF, UK, Vandy, UT, and Alabama are very evenly matched. For example, he has UF as a 3 and UT as a 7, but in their two games against each other, one went to OT and the other was decided by one point. So the teams who draw a high-seeded SEC team are getting lucky (because UF is not a true 3 seed). But the teams who draw a low-seeded SEC team are unlucky. (UT is better than a normal 7 seed, and Alabama is better than a normal 12 seed).