Friday, January 25, 2013

SEC Update

With five games down and 13 to go, the SEC men's basketball standings look like this (the number next to each team is its ranking according to Ken Pomeroy):

1.  Florida:  5-0 (Yes, Pomeroy says Florida is the best team in the country)
22. Ole Miss:  5-0
62.  Alabama:  4-1
19.  Kentucky:  3-2
43.  Missouri:  3-2
61.  Arkansas:  3-2
90.  Texas A & M:  2-3
145.  Vanderbilt:  2-3
167.  Auburn:  2-3
226.  Mississippi St:  2-3
87.  Tennessee:  1-4
134.  Louisiana St:  1-4
164.  Georgia:  1-4
194:  S. Carolina:  1-4

As you can see, these are some bad teams.  In fact, Florida is going through the SEC like a hot knife through butter.  Look at these scores from Florida's first five conference games (home teams listed first):

Florida 77 - 44 Georgia
LSU 52 - 74 Florida
Texas A & M 47 - 68 Florida
Florida 83 - 52 Missouri
Georgia 47 - 64 Florida

The Gators' average margin of victory in these five games was 24.8 points.  Based on what we've seen so far, it would appear that Florida has a great chance of going 18-0 in SEC play.  If they are 17-0 going into their last game -- which is at Rupp, on March 9 -- then that should be quite an atmosphere in Lexington.

Looking over these standings, it seems clear that UK's best chance of making the NCAA tournament is to take third place in the SEC.  I don't believe that the NCAA will only take two SEC teams out of fourteen, so if UK can come in third, they will likely get a bid.  I think the battle for third place will be a wild scramble between Alabama, UK, Missouri, and Arkansas (with Tennessee possibly making a late charge), but I also think the Cats could pull this off.  It should be noted that UK is the only SEC team other than Florida and Ole Miss with two road wins in conference play.  Still, this race will be close, and the Cats will need all the help they can get.

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