Obviously, Kentucky picked up a win over Hofstra earlier today by a large margin, but there were four other SEC teams in action today that had the opportunity to big up big non-conference wins. Unfortunately for the SEC, all four failed to take advantage.
It has been pretty clear that the SEC has had a few down years in a row outside of UK and usually Florida, and today’s wins would’ve really helped the case for a few teams that may be on the bubble at the end of the season.
Tennessee held a double digit lead in the first half at North Carolina, took an 8 point lead into half time, and was even leading as late as 2:49 left in the game. However, the Vols managed to throw it away with an anemic offense down the stretch. They only managed to score 5 points over the last 5:24 of the game. Tennessee loses to the number 7 team in the country 73-71.
Alabama traveled out to Oregon to take on the #24 Ducks, and it didn’t start out great for the Crimson Tide. Avery Johnson’s squad feel behind 14 points at times in the first half, and were down 8 at the half. But the Tide battled back, even taking a one-point lead with 4:11 left in the second half. Alabama didn’t score a single point after that and lost by the score of 65-56.
Thirdly, Florida. The Gators traveled to Florida State to take on the in-state rival Seminoles. Florida played the first half close, and went into the locker rooms down 2 at the midway mark. Florida State came out in the second half firing, running up a 13 point lead with 11:51 remaining, but the Gators buckled down and brought the game to within 3 at the 2:44 mark. Florida could never bring it any closer, as they had dug too big of a hole in the second half. The Gators fall to the Seminoles by five, 83-78.
And lastly, Ole Miss took on Virginia Tech on the Hokies home floor. This game has a similar storyline to the Florida game. The Rebels were only down 1 point at halftime, but gave up a run in the second half, falling behind by as many as 11. Again, the SEC team fought back into the game, trailing by just 1 with 1:24 left in the game. Unfortunately, Ole Miss was outscored 9-5 in the remaining time, losing by the score of 80-75.
The SEC had four huge chances to prove a lot of people wrong, but all four teams did the exact opposite of that. Someone please start winning some games so Kentucky’s conference play doesn’t kill them when it comes to tournament time.