Kentucky Stands Alone
After missing several Weekly SEC Basketball Reports due to various reasons, I’m back with what will basically turn into a Kentucky lovefest.
RECAP: Since our last report the Wildcats have gone 6-0 in the conference and locked up the SEC Regular Season Championship along with the #1 seed in the SEC tournament. Kentucky won three games at home by an average of 14.6 points and an even larger margin of victory on the road at 16.3 (I have to point out that the stat is a little skewed since it includes a 34 point win at South Carolina, a school that should have their basketball team cease to exist). I would deem nothing else in the SEC newsworthy in the past 26 days.
PREVIEW: The Wildcats are currently the #1 ranked team in the nation and for some weird reason people are just now putting them as their #1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament. This team is 28-1 and would be undefeated if not for a one-point loss at Indiana (now ranked #20). Kentucky is 14-0 in the SEC and should make it 15-0 after hosting Georgia in their home finale this Thursday. The only potential roadblock is a Sunday match up at #13 Florida.
CONFERENCE LEADERS: John Jenkins, Guard, Jr. Vanderbilt – 20.0 points per game. Arnett Moultrie, Forward, Jr. Miss. State – 10.7 rebounds per game. Dee Bost, Guard, Sr. Miss. State – 5.0 assists per game.
CURRENT STANDINGS: #1 Kentucky 14-0, #13 Florida 10-4, Vanderbilt 9-5, Alabama 8-6, Tennessee 8-6, LSU 7-7, Miss State 6-8, Arkansas 6-8, Ole Miss 6-8, Auburn 4-10, Georgia 4-10, and South Carolina 2-12.
STREAKS: Kentucky – 20 game winning streak. Mississippi State – 5 game losing streak.
BOXSCORE OF THE WEEK: The Tennessee Volunteers have played 9 ranked teams this season. Even though they only won 3 of them, the team has weathered the storm of their demanding schedule and won 6 of their 7 February games. If UT can knock off LSU and Vanderbilt this week they should be dancing come mid-March so long as they don’t embarrass themselves in the SEC tournament.
MY THOUGHTS: Obviously Kentucky is the cream of the crop and should emerge as a #1 seed so long as they don’t lose their last two games and then bow out in the first round of the SEC tournament (of course the odds on all three things happening are probably 1000-1). Even though the Florida Gators will make the NCAA tournament I don’t expect much from them. They have looked vulnerable at times and are not as good as their 22-7 would appear. Vanderbilt is a team that started strong but has finished poorly. Their February consisted of losing to Kentucky twice and Florida once. They end their season with another match up against Florida and a road game at Tennessee. The Commodores could be in trouble if they don’t win at least one of the two games. The only remaining team that could have a shot at the NCAA’s would be Alabama. The Crimson Tide is currently 19-9 overall and 8-6 in the SEC. Wins against Auburn and Ole Miss should be just enough to squeak in, although a win or two in the SEC tournament would help. What hurts Alabama is their strength of schedule. They did not play a single ranked opponent outside of the SEC and went 0-3 against ranked SEC teams.
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