Monday, March 9, 2009

SEC Basketball Rankings and NCAA Hopes

The SEC teams on the bubble sure made it interesting in the final week of the regular season. Only two teams can be considered locks (LSU, Tennessee) and only one of those teams' (LSU) locks is made out of steel. The East Division finished with Tennessee and South Carolina sharing the division title, but the Vols get the top seed due to their head to head wins. LSU sewed up the West early and went on vacation losing their final two games this week. Here are what I think the NCAA Tournament positions of all 12 SEC teams are as they stand going into the SEC Tournament this weekend in St. Petersburg, FL.

NCAA Tournament Locks:

LSU
Tigers wrapped up the West early, but some nervousness for NCAA Tournament success perpetuates with their two losses this week to Vanderbilt and Auburn.

Tennessee
Vols are here by virtue of their winning the SEC East. They played a tough schedule and I just cannot see the Tournament committee leaving out the number one team in the East.

source: Reuters

Bubble Teams (Falling In)
These teams I feel are in the Tournament as of today, but could still fall out with a bad showing this weekend.

South Carolina
The Gamecocks finished 10-6 in conference which would be good enough most years, but the Gamecocks do not have very many significant out of conference wins.

Auburn
I think the Tigers are in after defeating LSU on Saturday giving them 10 wins in the SEC and they have been red hot down the stretch. But an opening loss this Friday will put them squarely back on the bubble and likely out.

Bubble Teams (Falling Out)
Teams I feel need to make a strong showing in the SEC Tournament and are likely out at this juncture.

Florida
The Gators got a "must win" over East rival Kentucky on Saturday to push them to 9-7 and 22-9. Still, Florida needs a couple of wins this weekend and might need to get all the way to the finals.

Kentucky
The Wildcats have to get to the finals for a chance. I think if they do they at least give the Tournament Committee a much better resume than they have now but it still may not be enough to continue their appearance streak.

Mississippi State
The Bulldogs finished the season at 9-7 in the SEC, but will need to get to Sunday to have a shot.

source: digital light

Need to Win the Conference Tournament:
Ole Miss
Vanderbilt
Alabama
Arkansas
Georgia

Season: 25-22 SU through 3/8

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