The SEC Tournament is now one month away; if it started today, Kentucky would be the No. 10 seed, playing No. 7 Ole Miss in the early game Thursday night.
Last night’s games shook up the top half of the standings. Ole Miss beat No. 10 Missouri 80-59 (!), dropping the Tigers from second place to fifth when you factor in tiebreakers. Tennessee, which was the projected No. 5 seed a week ago, would now be the No. 2 seed and play on Friday. Kentucky’s losses to Tennessee and Arkansas make it all but certain the Cats will play on Thursday, meaning they’ll have to win four games in a row to earn the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Ugh.
Let’s break it down.
Auburn self-imposed a postseason ban, so the Tigers are omitted.
1. Alabama (11-1, .917)
2. Tennessee (7-4, .636)
3. LSU (7-4, .636)
4. Arkansas (7-4, .636)
5. Missouri (6-4, .600)
6. Florida (6-4, .600)
7. Ole Miss (6-6, .500)
8. Mississippi State (5-7, .417)
9. Georgia (5-7, .417)
10. Kentucky (4-7, .363)
11. South Carolina (3-6, .333)
12. Texas A&M (2-6, .250)
13. Vanderbilt (1-8, .111)
Here is the bracket as of today, Feb. 11:
Still a lot of games left, but here are some things to keep in mind:
More COVID “postponements”
This morning, Saturday’s game between Texas A&M and Florida became the latest SEC game postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19. The Aggies have had four straight games postponed due to the virus, the Gators three. Kentucky is scheduled to host A&M on Feb. 23 and travel to Gainesville on Feb. 27.
By my count, over a dozen league games have been postponed this season, with no makeup dates announced:
- South Carolina at Kentucky (Dec. 29)
- South Carolina at Ole Miss (Jan. 9)
- LSU at Missouri (Jan. 9)
- Tennessee at Vanderbilt (Jan. 12)
- Vanderbilt at Missouri (Jan. 12)
- Tennessee at South Carolina (Jan. 12)
- Texas A&M at Vanderbilt (Jan. 20)
- Vanderbilt at Texas A&M (Feb. 3)
- Florida at LSU (Feb. 6)
- Texas A&M at Arkansas (Feb. 6)
- Georgia at Texas A&M (Feb. 10)
- Florida at Tennessee (Feb. 10)
- Texas A&M at Florida (Feb. 13)
As this list gets longer and longer, I grow more and more skeptical these games will actually take place.
No official word on the tournament, attendance
Last Friday, Jon Rothstein tweeted that he’s hearing the SEC Tournament will go on as scheduled with hopes for 20-25% fan attendance. We’ve yet to get any official word from the league on that, but the Nashville Predators are currently allowing 15% attendance at their games at Bridgestone Arena. With only one month left, we’re getting into crunch time when it comes to planning, but it seems the league is waiting to see if COVID-19 case numbers continue to trend downward to determine how many fans they can allow in. Kentucky fans usually dominate the crowd; will that still be the case given this team’s woes AND the pandemic? Considering winning the tournament is only remaining path to the Big Dance, we can only hope.
Vegas still believes Kentucky has a shot
Even though Kentucky is currently in 11th place and would be the 10-seed in the SEC Tournament, they’ve got the sixth best odds to win it per BetMGM:
By the way, if you come to the SEC Tournament, you can bet on it! Online sports gambling is now legal in Tennessee.