After a very bad week, SEC Basketball got back on track against mostly inferior opponents. Florida stopped humiliating us all by beating Cincinnati, who, in turn, exposed undefeated Mississippi State a few days later. Meanwhile, Arkansas got a big win over a ranked opponent.
Two and a half weeks remain until conference play, but several teams face major tests this weekend. Here’s my weekly breakdown of the league, as told by Seinfeld GIFs.
Still Masters of their Domain
This week: Beat Prairie View A&M 73-53
After losing to Arizona last week, Texas A&M rebounded with a ho-hum win over Prairie View A&M. Billy Kennedy’s squad was only up by four points five minutes into the second half, but eventually put Prairie View away. The Aggies are very good, but their slow starts prove they’re vulnerable.
“It’s go time”
This week: Beat Monmouth 93-76
Kentucky routed Monmouth with only four points from Kevin Knox, the team’s leading scorer; that’s a great thing. PJ Washington and Hamidou Diallo had their best games yet, but we’ll really see what the Cats are made of as they enter a difficult three-game stretch, starting with the nation’s best offense in Virginia Tech at home on Saturday.
This week: Beat Lipscomb 81-71
The Vols survived a cold shooting night to beat Lipscomb 81-71, but the real test comes when they host #7 North Carolina on Saturday.
This week: Beat #14 Minnesota
The Razorbacks’ 26-point loss to Houston is still a head scratcher, but they beat #14 Minnesota on Saturday, so maybe it was just a fluke? They’ve got an easy path until opening SEC play with Tennessee on December 30.
This week: Beat #17 Cincinnati 66-60
After losing three straight, Florida bounced back to beat #17 Cincinnati on Saturday. Down by four with eight minutes left, it looked like the Gators might lose again, but they rallied thanks to Chris Chiozza. The bloom is still off the rose with Florida, but a win over a tough Cincinnati team (that beat Mississippi State last night) is a good way to get back on track.
“Not that there’s anything wrong with that”
This week: Lost to Arizona 88-82
DeAndre Ayton dominated Alabama’s big men on Sunday, but DeAndre Ayton dominates most big men and I’m not going to criticize the Crimson Tide for losing by six on the road to Arizona, who is looking more like the team we all thought they were. Besides, Collin Sexton is still a star, scoring a game-high 30 points, 21 in the second half. He’s really, really good.
Yada Yada Yada
This week: Beat UAB 85-80
I don’t care if Auburn is 8-1, I’m not taking them seriously yet, especially after they only beat UAB by five at home. Still no word on whether or not Danjel Purifoy and Austin Wiley (suspended indefinitely over eligibility concerns) will rejoin the team, who was also without Mustapha Heron (back) vs. UAB. Saturday’s game vs. Middle Tennessee State will be a bigger test than most expect; the Blue Raiders already have wins over Ole Miss and Vandy this season.
This week: Beat North Georgia 95-62; Lost to #25 Cincinnati 65-50
Mississippi State came into this game as the SEC’s only unbeaten team, and, just like I thought, didn’t impress much vs. a ranked opponent. The Bulldogs missed 10 straight shots in the first half and 14 in the second, allowing the Bearcats to roll. Cue the Price is Right fail horn, please.
This week: Beat Green Bay 100-77
Missouri rolled over a bad Green Bay team, further proof that life without Michael Porter isn’t quite as bad as we all expected.
This week: No games
Like a few other SEC teams, Georgia’s in the midst of an 11-day break for finals.
This week: Beat Coastal Carolina 80-78
South Carolina was very fortunate to avoid a bad loss to Coastal Carolina at home. I’m not sure what Frank Martin is angrier about these days: his team’s performance or the lack of fans in the stands.
This week: Beat UNC Wilmington 97-84
After an 11-day break, LSU was back in action Sunday and took care of UNC Wilmington at home. Tremont Waters continues to look legit.
This week: Lost to Middle Tennessee State 77-58
After losing to Virginia Tech last week, the Rebels got routed on the road at MTSU. They’ve now lost three straight.
This week: No games
The Dores are on break for finals, which is a very good thing because they’re not good at basketball right now. Life doesn’t get any easier when finals are over; this weekend, Vandy travels to #5 Arizona State. Eek.