The Southeastern Conference has been the most back-and-forth conference in men’s basketball this season. Teams like Kentucky, Ole Miss and Missouri have been in the top 25 one week and out the following. The only consistently solid SEC team has been Florida, but even the Gators have ugly losses against Arkansas and Missouri.
The latest update on what the SEC Tournament would look like at the moment has Florida remaining as the No. 1 seed with Alabama right behind. The No. 3 seed is listed as Kentucky as Missouri checks in at No. 4. The top 4 seeds will get a double-bye heading into the tournament, which starts March 13th.
Here is the (right now) SEC Tournament bracket preview:
But there are still a considerable number of quality regular season games left to be played in the SEC.
For example, Kentucky takes on Florida on Saturday in Rupp Arena. This game is one that will determine whether or not the Cats will remain the No. 3 seed. If UK wins its final two regular season games, the Wildcats have the potential to move in front of Alabama for the No. 2 spot in the bracket. Currently, both Alabama and Kentucky have 11-5 conference records (Bama owns the tiebreaker on head-to-head).
Other quality SEC games include Arkansas vs. Missouri and Alabama vs. Ole Miss, both on Tuesday.
Both Arkansas and Missouri will be coming off victories; Arkansas defeated Kentucky and Missouri defeated LSU on Saturday. Arkansas, like Missouri, has struggled with matchups on the road. The Razorbacks have lost eight road games. The key for Arkansas to snag this much-needed road win is to shut down Laurence Bowers and Alex Oriakhi. Bowers and Oriakhi are both coming into this game off double-doubles. Bowers had 23 points and 10 rebounds while Oriakhi had 18 points and 10 rebounds against LSU. Missouri has the advantage of playing at home on Senior Night but will still have to stay physical with a rough Razorback squad.
#Mizzou forward Alex Oriakhi named SEC player of the week: kansascity.com/2013/03/04/409…
— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) March 4, 2013
As for Alabama, the Tide has to win on the road against an Ole Miss team that has fallen off recently. They will be coming off a disappointing loss at Florida. Alabama only has three road wins in conference play. Playing in the C.M. ‘Tad’ Smith Coliseum will be a big challenge and opportunity for Alabama. Like many other SEC teams, Alabama and Ole Miss are on bubble watch. This game will be a must-win for both SEC teams, but especially for Ole Miss. The Rebels are coming off an embarrassing loss against one of the lowest ranked teams in the SEC, Mississippi State.
13 straight games.That’s how many Mississippi St Basketball had lost before they beat Ole Miss.13
— The SEC Logo (@SEC_Logo) March 3, 2013
Needless to say, there are still quality games to be played and proving to be done. Week 18 of college hoops will continue to be volatile heading out of regular season play and into the SEC Tournament.