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The SEC Shooty Hoops Review: Week 2 (January 5th - January 11th)

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In which tiers begin to emerge

NCAA Basketball: Florida at Alabama
Blue teams are running roughshod over the conference
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky is 4-0 in the league, winning 2 at home and 2 on the road by an average of 24.3 points.

Florida is 4-0 in the league, winning 2 at home and 2 on the road by an average of 10.5 points.

South Carolina is 3-0 in the league, winning 1 at home and 2 on the road by an average of 9.0 points.

Through the first two weeks, these seem to be your three best teams. Who is ready to take residence behind them? What happened to the teams we THOUGHT were going to be at the top of the league?

To the results!

The Week That Was

Kentucky and Florida at the top, Mizzou at the bottom...nothing to see here, right?

Week 2 SEC Results

Team Overall Record Conference Record "Weekend" Game "Weekend" Result Midweek Game Midweek Result
Team Overall Record Conference Record "Weekend" Game "Weekend" Result Midweek Game Midweek Result
Kentucky 14-2 4-0 Arkansas W, 97-71 @ Vanderbilt W, 87-81
Florida 13-3 4-0 Tennessee W, 83-70 @ Alabama W, 80-67
South Carolina 13-3 3-0 Texas A&M W, 79-68 @ Tennessee W, 70-60
Georgia 11-5 3-1 Missouri W, 71-66 @ Ole Miss W, 69-47
Mississippi State 11-4 2-1 @ LSU W, 95-78 @ Arkansas W, 84-78
Alabama 9-6 2-1 Vanderbilt W, 59-56 Florida L, 67-80
Vanderbilt 8-8 2-2 @ Alabama L, 56-59 Kentucky L, 81-87
Arkansas 12-4 1-3 @ Kentucky L, 71-97 Mississippi State L, 78-84
Auburn 11-5 1-3 Ole Miss L, 85-88 @ Missouri W, 77-72
Ole Miss 10-6 1-3 @ Auburn W, 88-85 Georgia L, 47-69
Texas A&M 9-6 1-3 @ South Carolina L, 68-79 LSU W, 92-62
LSU 9-6 1-3 Mississippi State L, 78-95 @ Texas A&M L, 62-92
Tennessee 8-8 1-3 @ Florida L, 70-83 South Carolina L, 60-70
Missouri 5-10 0-3 @ Georgia L, 66-71 Auburn L, 72-77

WRONG!

There were some straight up mindboggling results, and even those that look straightforward may have an interesting back story (like how Vanderbilt blew a 14-point second half lead to Alabama, because that’s a thing that happens).

The season is young and a round robin-ish tournament such as this will eventually end up driving some people toward the middle. I get that. But the preponderance of 1-3 teams at the moment is curious, especially since it includes 2 teams (Arkansas, A&M) that probably should be better than that.

This Week’s Super Squadron

NCAA Basketball: Mississippi State at Arkansas
Credit where due because...Mississippi State?
Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

The Bulldogs took some heat early in the year for losing to UCF, Lehigh, and ETSU. They’re a young team, so it makes sense that they would have some struggles.

Well...none of those teams are terrible (Lehigh is the lowest rated in KenPom at 103) and when Mississippi State hits 3’s, they’re dangerous. They hit 11 3’s in blasting LSU in Baton Rouge on Saturday, and then turned around and hit 12 more in Fayetteville on Tuesday to get their first back-to-back SEC road wins since 2011.

It may be a rough week this week with A&M and Kentucky on the docket, but Howland’s charges had a good week and earned Volundore’s kudos.

This Week’s Turrible Team

NCAA Basketball: Louisiana State at Texas A&M
“CAN SOMEONE EXPLAIN TO ME WHY I STILL HAVE A JOB? ANYBODY?”
Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Coach A has won 77% of his games and has 3 division titles, 2 championship game appearances, and a natty to his name.

Coach B has won 62% of his games, has never finished higher than 3rd in his conference, and has never won a postseason game that matters.

Which one is still under the employ of Louisiana State University? The answer may surprise you!

On Saturday, Johnny Jones’ Tigers fell 95-78 to Mississippi State. At home. They followed that performance up by losing by 30 (!) to Texas A&M tonight to give the Aggies their first win of the SEC season.

Johnny must have some incriminating photos and videos of everyone in the athletic department because I can’t explain this one.

Bracket Matrix: Who Might Dance

Kentucky and Florida will dance. I probably don’t even need to mention that anymore as we turn our attention to what’s going on behind them.

Both Bracket Matrix and Bracketology have South Carolina and Arkansas in the field right now, but the Gamecocks are currently in better position than the Razorbacks, especially after that loss to Mississippi State on Tuesday.

It’s still super early, and with some brackets not updating, Bracket Matrix is very much a lagging indicator. KenPom, though, updates in real time, and he has slid Georgia ahead of Arkansas. The Bulldogs’ RPI number is right there, too, so they’re definitely a team to keep your eye on going forward.

Beyond those 5...it’s grim. Still 2 months of basketball to go, though.

Eye on the NCAA: January 11th

Team Average BM Seed # of Brackets (53) Bracketology KenPom RPI
Team Average BM Seed # of Brackets (53) Bracketology KenPom RPI
Kentucky 1 53 2 1 6
Florida 5 53 5 14 3
South Carolina 9 52 8 31 26
Arkansas 9 51 8 54 44
Georgia Next Four 8 N/A 49 38
Ole Miss Others 3 N/A 95 50
Auburn Others 1 N/A 102 84
Alabama Others 1 N/A 76 94

Games to Watch: Week 2

Weekend: Georgia at Florida

Those Bulldogs would open a lot of eyeballs if they could go into Gainesville and grab a victory on Saturday.

That will certainly be tough against a Florida team in the top 25 of Adjusted Offense and Defense in KenPom, but Georgia is right there with the 23rd ranked defense. This game could become a real slog, but in a low-scoring affair, all it takes is JJ Frazier raining in a couple of 3’s to make a huge impact.

Midweek: Florida at South Carolina

Last week, I tried to steer clear of including Kentucky in both games, but I think it’s appropriate to go DOUBLE GATA here.

Can Florida firmly establish themselves alone in the top tier with the ‘Cats? Can South Carolina move to 5-0 in league play (assuming they handle Ole Miss at home on Saturday) and make an argument that they are a legitimate challenger to UK?

That thing I just said about Georgia and Florida and the slugfest? Uh, bring your heaviest stone to this one because you ain’t seen a rock fight as brutal as this one could be.