Apart from the top two in the conference (Florida and Kentucky) the SEC has been a little wacky this season. A few teams picked to finish near the bottom have found themselves near the top, and a few teams predicted to challenge the perennial powers have had some underwhelming results. Score watching men’s basketball in the SEC can drive a fan crazy sometimes, as lately, the good teams are never as good as advertised, and the bad teams are….still just as bad when compared on a national spectrum.
Georgia and Texas A&M have put together impressive 3-1 marks in conference play to date, which is surprising considering most media pundits picked them dead last in the SEC this year. Coach Mark Fox and Billy Kennedy have to be facing a warm seat at their respective seats, and both feel the pressure to perform. Both UGA and TAMU have used tough defense and scrappy play to make up for their lack of talent, and have a “refuse to quit” attitude against teams that seem to have written them off before the game even starts.
Here are a few examples of some head-scratching results thus far:
Texas A&M defeating Arkansas 69-53
Georgia defeating Missouri 70-64
Texas A&M defeating Tennessee 57-56
Mississippi State defeating Ole Miss 76-72
Georgia defeating Alabama 66-58
While the Bulldogs and the Aggies have been surprises due to their success, the Missouri Tigers have surprised people with their lack thereof. The Tigers entered conference play ranked in the top 25, with just one loss to rival Illinois. Many tabbed Mizzou as a potential threat to the Wildcats and the Gators, but they opened SEC with a home loss to…Georgia. Following that up with two point win over Auburn and a loss on the road to Vanderbilt…color me confused.
What does all this mean? Well, we know the SEC isn’t the best in men’s basketball. All of these results really just hurt the conference in terms of producing NCAA Tournament teams, but gives the lower tier teams a chance to improve.