Bama Hoops Hype

Projecting The Final Third of the SEC Regular Season

Alabama Men's Basketball

With just three weeks left in the regular season, there is still plenty of things at stake for the teams in the SEC. One of the nation’s most surprising teams sits on top of the standings while the teams that were the preseason favorites are sitting near the middle. There’s four weeks until Selection Sunday and a strong possibility that we will see nine teams from the conference be awarded with a bid to the NCAA Tournament.

In a league that has been filled with unpredictable upsets and inconsistent squads, we take a look at each team’s remaining schedule and try to guess what the standings will look like before the SEC Tournament in St. Louis. Let’s start at the bottom (with the teams Alabama likes to lose to).

*Strength of schedule was determined by remaining opponent’s conference record with a multiplier for road games and ranked just among SEC teams.*

Vanderbilt Commodores – Currently 9-16, 3-9 in SEC – 127th in RPI

Remaining Strength of Schedule: 10th

Vanderbilt has had a season to forget and it looks like it will continue until the very end. Do not be shocked if the Commodores can pull off one more big upset in Memorial Gymnasium before the end of the season but it should not make a huge impact on the season’s final outcome. The silver lining is they never have to travel for the SEC Tourn… oh wait, never mind.

Projected finish: 5-13, 14th in SEC

Mississippi Rebels – Currently 11-14, 4-8 in SEC – 103rd in RPI

Remaining Strength of Schedule: 7th

The Rebels were a much stronger team at home at the beginning of conference play but they have not looked the same since beating Alabama. Ole Miss has some appealing home games left on its schedule but road trips to Columbia, Lexington and Starkville certainly are not going to help down the stretch.

Projected finish: 5-13, 13th in SEC

Georgia Bulldogs – Currently 13-11, 4-8 in SEC – 83rd in RPI

Remaining Strength of Schedule: 5th

Yante Maten is still one of the best players in this conference but he does not have a lot to back him up. Georgia still has games against Tennessee(x2), Texas A&M and Florida left on its schedule. Nothing will come easy for the Bulldogs now and they could be much closer to the cellar than people expected them to be.

Projected finish: 6-12, 12th in SEC

South Carolina Gamecocks – Currently 13-12, 4-8 in SEC – 78th in RPI

Remaining Strength of Schedule: 1st

Frank Martin’s squad is already on a fast, downhill slide and it still has to play Auburn twice in the final three weeks of the season. The biggest goal for this team is going to be to try to stay at .500 and possibly earn a berth to the NIT.

Projected finish: 6-12, 11th in SEC

Arkansas Razorbacks – Currently 17-8, 6-6 in SEC – 36th in RPI

Remaining strength of schedule: 4th

This would certainly be a disappointing spot for the Razorbacks to finish but there’s not a lot to look forward to right now. Five of the team’s remaining six games are against teams currently ahead of Arkansas in the standings. In a way, that can be a good thing if you want to fight your way back to the top but I do not see that being the case for this team.

Projected finish: 8-10, 10th in SEC, 10-seed in NCAA Tournament

LSU Tigers – Currently 14-10, 5-7 in SEC – 79th in RPI

Remaining Strength of Schedule: 11th

The Tigers look like they are going to finish as the typical college basketball team that can compete with anyone at home but look dead on the road. The biggest thing for this team is already getting that sweep over the rival Razorbacks.

Projected finish: 8-10, 9th in SEC, NIT bid

Mississippi State Bulldogs – Currently 18-7, 6-6 in SEC – 57th in RPI

Remaining Strength of Schedule: 13th

The hurdle facing the Bulldogs right now is the weak non-conference schedule. If they had played anyone, this team would be right in the thick of the NCAA Tournament discussion. Now, State will need to look for some extra quality wins to boost that resume to have a chance to get in. With a late visit from Tennessee and a possible run in the SEC Tournament, this team may see itself dancing in March.

Projected finish: 9-9, 8th in SEC, 11-seed in NCAA Tournament

Texas A&M Aggies – Currently 17-8, 6-6 in SEC – 17th in RPI

Remaining Strength of Schedule: 9th

Coming into the season, this would have been a disappointing spot for the Aggies to finish. However, considering this team started 0-5 in conference play, finishing in the league’s top half would be pretty impressive. A&M has the most road games remaining of anyone in the conference but are looking as good as anyone in the country right now. This team may have to play four games in St. Louis but do not be surprised to see them make a push at the SEC Tournament Championship.

Projected finish: 9-9, 7th in SEC, 5-seed in NCAA Tournament

Alabama Crimson Tide – Currently 16-9, 7-5 in SEC – 33rd in RPI

Remaining Strength of Schedule: 3rd

The Crimson Tide have been the most inconsistent team in the conference this season but the quality wins speak for themselves. This team will be a threat to anyone in March. Alabama just has to get there first.

Projected finish: 10-8, 6th in SEC, 7-seed in NCAA Tournament

Kentucky Wildcats – Currently 17-8, 6-6 in SEC play – 20th in RPI

Remaining Strength of Schedule: 2nd

Kentucky looks like a big mess right now. And the season is not getting any easier for them from here. So why does it make sense to keep the Wildcats this high in the standings? Probably because it is Kentucky. The freshman here are talented and the coach here is the best in the conference. Home games against tough opponents like Alabama and Missouri could help this team get back on track and to the level that Big Blue Nation expects them to play at.

Projected finish: 10-8, 5th in SEC, 5-seed in NCAA Tournament

Missouri Tigers – Currently 17-8, 7-5 in SEC – 22nd in RPI

Remaining Strength of Schedule: 14th

The Tigers are hot right now and there is not a lot that stands between them and a two-round bye in the conference tournament. Everything left on the schedule should be a winnable game for Missouri but the focus may need to be on getting road wins to start impressing the selection committee.

Projected finish: 11-7, 4th in SEC, 6-seed in NCAA Tournament

Florida Gators – Currently 17-8, 8-4 in SEC – 47th in RPI

Remaining Strength of Schedule: 6th

Florida’s season has already had a win at Rupp Arena, an 18-point home loss and a 24-point win in Columbia. This team makes no sense and who really knows how good it can be. If I was a Florida fan, I would be putting my faith in Chris Chiozza and Jalen Hudson because those two guards are good enough to beat any team in the country.

Projected finish: 11-7, 3rd in SEC, 6-seed in NCAA Tournament

Tennessee Volunteers – Currently 18-6, 8-4 in SEC – 13th in RPI

Remaining Strength of Schedule: 12th

Tennessee’s loss to Alabama on Saturday may not have been a fluke but it was certainly out of the norm for this team. The Volunteers had five losses prior to that game by a combined 30 points. There was a reason this team was getting some chatter about being a 1-seed and even with that loss to the Crimson Tide, it may still be possible to get there.

Projected finish: 13-5, 2nd in SEC, 3-seed in NCAA Tournament

Auburn Tigers – Currently 22-3, 10-2 in SEC – 8th in RPI

Remaining Strength of Schedule: 8th

The Tigers are running away with the SEC regular season championship. At this point, they may just need to go .500 over the last six games to clinch it. With the way this team has been playing though, you should expect them to be much better than that and continue to add to an already impressive resume. Auburn may be staring down a 1-seed with a good performance in the conference tournament.

Projected finish: 15-3, 1st in SEC, 2-seed in NCAA Tournament

Caleb Turrentine is the editor for Bama Hoops Hype. You can follow him on Twitter for in-game updates at @BamaHoopsHype.

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