Another 2-0 week for the Kentucky Wildcats, including yesterday’s win over Auburn avenging the loss to the Tigers almost a month ago. Let’s take a look at some of the other takeaways from around the Southeastern Conference this week.
1. Kentucky clinches at home
Your Kentucky Wildcats clinched the SEC Regular Season Championship with the big win over Auburn yesterday in Rupp Arena. With two games remaining before postseason play, the Cats have built a three game lead over the Tigers from both LSU and Auburn. It is Kentucky’s 49th regular season title and the first since 2017. The next closest team on the list is LSU with 11 regular season titles and Tennessee with 10.
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) February 29, 2020
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) March 1, 2020
With Auburn and LSU sitting at a tie for second place, Mississippi State and Florida both sit just one game out of second in a third place tie. The other three teams who will be receiving double-byes in the SEC Tournament are still in question with just a week remaining. Here’s the current SEC standings.
2. Home is where the wins are
In the Saturday slate in the Southeastern Conference, the home teams took care of business, with six of the seven games going to the home squad. Aside from Kentucky’s win over #15 Auburn, LSU took home a 14-point victory over Texas A&M in Baton Rouge, bumping themselves to a second place tie in the conference standings.
— LSU Basketball (@LSUBasketball) February 29, 2020
Ole Miss blew out Vandy in a 26-point victory at home, Tennessee knocked off Florida in Knoxville by 5 points, Alabama edged out the Gamecocks from South Carolina in a tight game in Tuscaloosa, and Georgia beat Arkansas in a high-scoring affair. The lone road team that was able to pick up the W yesterday was Mississippi State. The Bulldogs traveled to Missouri and knocked off the Tigers to keep themselves in play for an SEC Tournament double bye.
???’? ????? ? pic.twitter.com/CkCC2vT61j
— Mississippi State MBK (@HailStateMBK) February 29, 2020
3. New Bracketology has been released
Kentucky fans have been sour with ESPN’s Joe Lunardi all week, with how he had teams jumping Kentucky on seed lines, despite the Cats continuing to win, while seeming to not punish other teams for losing..cough, cough, Duke. A new bracket was released from Lunardi this weekend that moved the Cats up from a 4-seed to a 3-seed. That loss to Evansville will be tough to overcome on the résumé, but all the Cats can do is continue to win games, while other top teams drop games. Can’t complain if Kentucky doesn’t take care of their own business anyway.
Here’s what Kentucky’s prospective bracket would look like according to Lunardi, being the three-seed in the Midwest, starting in St. Louis and ending in Indianapolis.
A second-round match up with Ohio State seems pretty improbable since typically the tournament selection committee tends to try to avoid facing a team early in the tourney that you’ve already faced that season. In fact, a lot of this bracket looks familiar for Kentucky fans, with Ohio State, LSU, and Louisville all in the same bracket. On top of that, a lot of semi-local teams pop up as well, with Indiana, Wright State, and Bowling Green State in the same bracket. Kentucky fans can’t complain about their half of the bracket, with Maryland as the 2. The top half of the bracket looks much tougher, with 1-seed Kansas, 4-seed Louisville, 5-seed Michigan State, and 8-seed LSU all being tough outs.
Outside of Kentucky and LSU in the Midwest, two other SEC teams are in the field, according to Lunardi, giving the conference four total bids. Auburn is labeled as a 4-seed in the South Region and Florida is an 8 in the East Region. Here’s what the rest of the field would look like.
Yes, Duke is still labeled as a two-seed, despite losing three of their last four games to unranked teams and two of those losses being by double-digits. SIGH! For the rest of the SEC, Mississippi State is sitting just on the outside, being listed as one of the first four teams out.