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Bracket Banter 2/16: SEC Update:

A dramatic finish to the regular season is still in play, but Texas A&M is going to have a lot of work to do to make it happen. I don't know if it'll work out, but it could be fun to monitor if it does happen. Other than that, the SEC is RIDDLED with bubble teams and represents 3/5 of my final 5 in.


  • Alabama: The #2 team in the NET lasted almost 5 days at the #1 overall before losing to Tennessee in Knoxville. The Crimson Tide stay at #2 overall for now, but if Purdue wins tonight, Bama falls to #3 overall. There is still a decent gap between the 2 line and Alabama. I think they go 4-1 minimum down the stretch, and I could be talked into them going 5-0 coming into the SEC tournament. The matchup in College Station on 3/4 could be fore the SEC title. It will be a raucous environment!

  • Tennessee: After dropping two games last week, the Vols really needed the game over Alabama, and they got it, moving them up in my seed list a full line to #10 overall. Up next? Trips to Rupp and then to College Station, both Q1 games, both going to be electric environments.I like them to split the matchups, and then beat South Carolina at home. 4-1 is how I believe they end the year, but it wouldn’t take a lot of discussion to convince me they drop 2 more. It should be a fun end to the year, and they could end up anywhere from a 2-4 seed.

Should be in:

  • Missouri: Win marquee resume-building game on Saturday at the buzzer - get blown out of the arena by Auburn on Tuesday. That’s the definition of a rollercoaster week for the tigers. They should be very happy that the buzzer beater dropped because it keeps them safe for now, but they have no Q1 games remaining, along with 2 tough home Q2 games in the next week. I like the tigers to get into the tournament, but their seeding remains a mystery today; they are the #1 eight seed for now.

  • Auburn: Beating Mizzou, as a result, isn’t a big deal, BUT to 30-piece Mizzou after a 3-game losing streak is a massive result. It helped their metrics and obviously added another win to their Q1/2 record. Auburn has three difficult Q1 games left, and I don’t know that they win any of them, so they really need to beat Vanderbilt and Ole Miss in the next week to put themselves in a position to potentially drop 3 games going into the SEC tournament. I currently have them on the 8 line, right there with Mizzou.


  • Arkansas: The Razorbacks must really love the bubble. They keep playing themselves on and off of it. I know Nick Smith Jr. is now back, and they have things to figure out, but they have to get back into a groove before I can give them a boost from the injuries. Currently, they are on the 9 line, but they could fall relatively quickly with a losing record down the stretch. I think that 3-2 would likely get them into the bracket, but it would be advisable to win a game or two in the SEC tournament if they do go 3-2. I believe they make it; it’s just a question of them being anywhere from a 7-10 seed that makes it difficult for now.

  • Kentucky: Much like Arkansas, the UK likes to play on and off the bubble, but in the opposite direction of the Razorbacks. Getting a Q1 win over Mississippi State gets them in the bracket without playing in Dayton for now, and the Wildcats still have a solid 4 Q1 games left this year. My advice? Split those, and beat Vanderbilt to get into the bracket. The game in Fayetteville is lining up to be a HUGE bubble battle on the final day of the regular season.

  • Mississippi State: The Bulldogs were so close to pushing out of the First Four games in Dayton with a win over Kentucky but fell just short at home, a result that is, for now, a Q2 loss. Upcoming for Mississippi State are some winnable games; they do have to travel to Ole Miss, Missouri, and Vanderbilt, but also get to host Texas A&M and South Carolina at home. They likely need to win 4 of these games to get into the bracket come March.

  • Texas A&M: The Aggies are in a position to be in the bracket come Selection Sunday but will need to win a game they aren’t favored in to get in. They have 4 more Q1 games, including 2 road and 2 home. The problem is those two home games are Tennessee and Alabama. If results fall their way, that matchup could be the deciding one in the SEC regular season race. 2 wins get them close, and 3 may be enough to get them in.

  • Florida: The Castleton season-ending injury is just brutal for Florida, who is likely out this year. The only way I see a possible bid is 5-0 down the stretch. I don’t believe that’s very likely. At-large or bust in my opinion.

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