SEC Watch: Florida and Texas A&M won big to shake up the standings

On3 imageby:Drew Franklin02/12/24

DrewFranklinKSR

Kentucky’s record in the Southeastern Conference hasn’t changed since our last SEC Watch. Still, the weekend was unkind to the Wildcats as they dropped yet another home game, a non-conference against Gonzaga, in Rupp Arena, while Florida and Texas A&M won challenging home games to keep from falling behind Kentucky in the standings.

Texas A&M never trailed No. 6 Tennessee

On Saturday, Tennessee cooled off in College Station, Texas, running into a couple of hot hands in Tyrece Radford and Wade Taylor IV. The Aggies’ star guards combined for 52 points in Texas A&M‘s 85-69 blowout victory over the Vols. A&M never trailed in the game, staying in the SEC mix with four losses. Tennessee dropped to fourth place with its third loss.

Florida beat No. 12 Auburn by the same spread

Like Texas A&M, the Florida Gators won one of the biggest games on the entire home schedule, also by 16 points. On Saturday, Florida hosted Auburn, one of the league’s three first-place teams at the time, and sent the Tigers home with a third SEC loss, all in the last two and a half weeks. Riley Kugel (22), Walter Clayton Jr. (20) and Zyon Pullin (19) had 61 points, four shy of Auburn’s entire team in the 81-65 finish.

Alabama and South Carolina share the first-place tie

While Auburn lost, Alabama and South Carolina handled their Saturday business with double-digit wins: Alabama on the road at LSU and South Carolina at home against one-win Vanderbilt. Now, they share the conference lead with 9-2 SEC records. The Crimson Tide won the only head-to-head meeting, so the tiebreaker sides with Alabama.

Four in the Top 15

When the AP poll released its new Top 25 earlier today, the Southeastern Conference made up four of the top fifteen teams in the country. Despite Saturday’s loss, Tennessee remained in the top 10 at seventh in the new poll. South Carolina was one spot out at No. 11, followed by Auburn at No. 13 and Alabama at No. 15. Kentucky held onto its top-25 ranking at No. 22.

KenPom projects a No. 7 seed for Kentucky in Nashville

With eight games to go (only seven for some), Kentucky winning the league seems nearly impossible, barring an unbeaten run through the rest of the schedule and some help elsewhere. The double-bye in Nashville is unlikely, too, meaning the Big Blue Nation is on a crash course with a Thursday game in the conference tournament that Kentucky once owned. Even then, Kentucky may be the third-best of the Thursday teams. KenPom currently projects a seventh-place finish and the No. 7 seed for the Wildcats.

  1. Alabama (14-4)
  2. Tennessee (13-5)
  3. Auburn (13-5)
  4. South Carolina (12-6)
  5. Florida (11-7)
  6. Texas A&M (10-8)
  7. Kentucky (10-8)
  8. Mississippi State (9-9)
  9. Ole Miss (9-9)
  10. LSU (8-10)
  11. Georgia (7-11)
  12. Arkansas (6-12)
  13. Vanderbilt (2-16)
  14. Missouri (1-17)

Saturday’s SEC Scoreboard

AWAYHOME
(16) Alabama109LSU92
Vanderbilt60(15) South Carolina75
(12) Auburn65Florida81
Gonzaga89(17) Kentucky85
Georgia75Arkansas78
(6) Tennessee69Texas A&M85
Mississippi State75Missouri51

SEC Standings

CONFERENCEOVERALL
 South Carolina9-221-3
 Alabama9-217-7
 Auburn8-319-5
 Tennessee7-317-6
 Florida6-416-7
 Kentucky6-416-7
 Texas A&M6-415-8
 Ole Miss5-518-5
 Mississippi State5-616-8
 LSU4-612-11
 Georgia4-714-10
 Arkansas3-712-11
 Vanderbilt1-96-17
 Missouri0-118-16

SEC Schedule

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13

AWAYHOMETV
7:00 PM ETTexas A&MVanderbiltESPNU
8:00 PM ETLSUFloridaSEC Network
9:00 PM ETOle Miss(22) KentuckyESPN

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14

AWAYHOMETV
8:30 PM ET(11) South Carolina(13) AuburnSEC Network
9:00 PM ET(8) TennesseeArkansasESPN2

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 17

AWAYHOMETV
12:00 PM ETTexas A&M(15) AlabamaESPN
1:00 PM ETFloridaGeorgiaSEC Network
2:00 PM ETArkansasMississippi StESPNU
3:30 PM ETLSU(11) South CarolinaSEC Network
6:00 PM ET(22) Kentucky(13) AuburnESPN
6:00 PM ETVanderbilt(8) TennesseeSEC Network
8:30 PM ETMissouriOle MissSEC Network

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2024-03-02