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Takeaways from this week in SEC Basketball

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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.

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.

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.


@BrettBibbinsKSR

Article written by Brett Bibbins

Graduate of the University of Kentucky in 2015. Spend my free time watching sports, The Office or Harry Potter. Three-word phrases to live by: For The Kids and Cats by 90 @BrettBibbinsKSR

26 Comments for Takeaways from this week in SEC Basketball



  1. The Professor
    9:25 pm March 1, 2020 Permalink

    Duke = ratings thus the need to protect them. Any other school would drop 2 seeds.



    • RealCatsFan
      7:47 am March 2, 2020 Permalink

      So Kentucky does not equal ratings? I would propose that UK has 3x the following of dook. Yet aby time UK falters at all, they never miss a chance to punish them. If you want to see the real reason dook (and UNC) gets favorable treatment, look at the number of ex dookies who work for ESPN. THAT is the real reason behind it, not ratings.



    • Bluehender
      8:20 am March 2, 2020 Permalink

      Probably most people tune in to see Duke lose RCF. And probably some would tune in to hope we lose. But BBN is strong and should considered “ratings favorable.”



  2. bbcowboy
    9:36 pm March 1, 2020 Permalink

    Great game vs Auburn. The crowd seemed great, crazy.
    I hope someone suggests to the players that they consider standing with the cheerleaders at the last home game for the playing of My Old Kentucky Home.
    BBN would go crazy!!!
    Great year!!

    GO CATS!!



  3. JohnnyCat
    9:40 pm March 1, 2020 Permalink

    Cats will be ranked #6 in both polls and a solid #2 seed by tomorrow.



    • JohnnyCat
      9:41 pm March 1, 2020 Permalink

      Win out, and there is still a path to a #1.



  4. UKLugo
    9:45 pm March 1, 2020 Permalink

    My Bracketology would have Dayton and Uk 1&2 in the East. Gonzaga and San Diego St 1&2 in the West. Duke 3 in the South .



  5. lexattorney
    9:45 pm March 1, 2020 Permalink

    The fact that you dedicated an entire post to JOE LUNARDI tells me why this site is on thin ice with me. His “brackets” are irrelevant and homerish but can fool casual fans (to whom ESPoN tries to cater) into thinking he actually knows something about how the tournament seeding works and what will happen. Also, I checked your facts and his latest “projection” was released 3 days ago, BEFORE Duke, Florida State, Maryland and Creighton all lost.



    • Big Sexy
      10:03 pm March 1, 2020 Permalink

      The last two years Lunardi has predicted 66 and 67 of the 68 teams in the tournament. Last year he predicted 42 teams seeds correctly. He is trying to predict what the committee is going to do with the tools they use. If you disagree then fine. But to say he doesn’t know what he’s doing is based on ignorance. If I asked you to do the same you would probably use his for a reference.



    • The Big Lebowski
      4:51 am March 2, 2020 Permalink

      WOW!

      You must be important! lol



    • Bluehender
      7:31 am March 2, 2020 Permalink

      No objection counselor..I agree.



  6. kentuckybackupplayer
    9:58 pm March 1, 2020 Permalink

    Lunardi reminds be of the guy on tv that says liberty biberty.



  7. lexattorney
    10:14 pm March 1, 2020 Permalink

    I guess that’s why he is ranked #55 out of the guys in the national media who do this.



    • lexattorney
      10:18 pm March 1, 2020 Permalink

      bracket matrix.com



    • lexattorney
      10:19 pm March 1, 2020 Permalink

      bracketmatrix.com



    • Big Sexy
      12:35 am March 2, 2020 Permalink

      Some of the top predictors on that site, which means very little to me, still have UK as a 4 seed. You were whining that Lunardi had UK a 4 seed last week. Now you’re praising these other guys that STILL do. You’re evidence is contradicting your argument counselor.



    • lexattorney
      9:02 am March 2, 2020 Permalink

      My evidence most certainly doesn’t contradict my argument. I didn’t criticize Lunardi or his picks. What I DID DO was try to convince the folks here that rather than getting bent out of shape about some guy’s projections (read: guesses) of what MIGHT happen that they should just ignore him, as I do. As for these other “bracketologists,” my practice is the same. I never knew any of these people existed except for Jerry Palm, who this site also insists upon giving undeserved clicks. You go ahead and follow these glorified fantasy-league prognosticators and I’ll continue to ignore them and enjoy the actual seedlings by the committee on Selection Sunday.



    • makeitstop
      9:52 am March 2, 2020 Permalink

      U saved me the trouble of posting the exact same thing… and I think Palm is rated lower than Lunardi.



  8. MrFlip41129
    1:17 am March 2, 2020 Permalink

    I don’t want to jink anything I swear! But the Cats are rolling, dook is losing, other top teams losing, looking like it’s set up for the Cats to make a Final Four run!!!!!!!!!



  9. Bluehender
    8:21 am March 2, 2020 Permalink

    Left out “be”



    • Bluehender
      8:21 am March 2, 2020 Permalink

      Above



  10. lexattorney
    9:05 am March 2, 2020 Permalink

    I like that you tried to infer that I was praising these other guys when my point was to show that Lunardi, who you painted as the foremost expert in this imaginary bracketology (which isn’t even a word according to my autocorrect LOL) field, isn’t even close the best at guessing.



    • nocode96
      9:32 am March 2, 2020 Permalink

      I don’t think anyone paints joe as the foremost expert. However, he is the most popular by a wide margin, and by default will get the most hate.



    • makeitstop
      10:01 am March 2, 2020 Permalink

      We are certainly not going to be seeded lower than our NET ranking which heavily weights the loss to Evansville (and apparently proximity to either coast), but seeding teams with a week to go and before tourneys which often result in upsets is truly a fantasy exercise. If Dayton or SDSU loses anything they should and will stop bc their resume is thin; if we win out we will replace them. If Duke wins their tourney they will get extra credit for it and if we win ours it will be largely meaningless. We know how this goes. So just keep winning and see where the only group that matters puts us in two weeks… which is pretty much what LexAtty has been saying. So I guess I concur.



  11. lexattorney
    9:09 am March 2, 2020 Permalink

    *close to the best at guessing.