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The SEC Shooty Hoops Review: Week 1 (December 29th - January 4th)

At least 1 game in the books for we lookin’?

NCAA Basketball: Texas A&M at Kentucky
Is there any hope for the rest of us?
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The non-conference schedule is (mostly) behind us, and it’s time for the (at least) 19-game grind (for everyone not named 2015-16 Missouri) known as the ESSSSS EEEEEE CEEEE basketball schedule.

On a weekly basis, we’ll check in and take a look at what happened, who excelled, who failed in comical fashion, who has tournament prospects, and what to keep an eye on in the coming week.

The Week That Was

Here’s a quick look at results from last week (if you are viewing this on mobile, I beseech you, get thee to a a tablet/desktop ASAP because this formatting is murder).

Week 1 SEC Results

Team Conference Record "Weekend" Game "Weekend" Result Midweek Game Midweek Result
Team Conference Record "Weekend" Game "Weekend" Result Midweek Game Midweek Result
Kentucky 2-0 @ Ole Miss W, 99-76 Texas A&M W, 100-58
Florida 2-0 @ Arkansas W, 81-72 Ole Miss W, 70-63
Vanderbilt 2-0 @ LSU W, 96-89 Auburn W, 80-61
South Carolina 1-0 @ Memphis L, 54-70 @ UGA W, 67-61
Alabama 1-0 Stetson W, 83-60 @ Mississippi State W, 68-58
Arkansas 1-1 Florida L, 72-81 @ Tennessee W, 82-78
Georgia 1-1 @ Auburn W, 96-84 South Carolina L, 61-67
LSU 1-1 Vanderbilt L, 96-89 @ Missouri W, 88-77
Tennessee 1-1 @ Texas A&M W, 73-63 Arkansas L, 78-82
Mississippi State 0-1 UMKC W, 77-54 Alabama L, 58-68
Missouri 0-1 Lipscomb L, 81-76 LSU L, 77-88
Auburn 0-2 UGA L, 84-96 @ Vanderbilt L, 61-80
Ole Miss 0-2 Kentucky L, 76-99 @ Florida L, 63-70
Texas A&M 0-2 Tennessee L, 63-73 @ Kentucky L, 58-100

There’s nothing there that really makes you raise an eyebrow. Honestly, the most surprising result may be Tennessee’s victory in College Station (no homer).

Kentucky’s 32.5 point average margin of victory isn’t particularly inspiring for the rest of the conference. Auburn’s complete and utter inability to guard isn’t either, especially if you are on record as picking them to make the NCAA Tournament and opened yourself to up to a tremendous amount of ridicule by doing so.

Thankfully I don’t know anybody who did that...

This Week’s Super Squadron

NCAA Basketball: Auburn at Vanderbilt
Hey...did y’all know the benches at Memorial Gym are on the baseline?!
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve already used “no homer” once, so might as well go for the double, right?

Is there anything super impressive about wins over SEC teams currently ranked 104th and 117th in KenPom? No...but coming into the conference slate 6-6 with losses to MTSU and Bucknell and straight BLASTING fools has to be worth something. Doesn’t it?

The Dores will have a chance to move to 3-0 in conference play at Alabama on Saturday before the schedule takes a turn (next 5: UK, UT, @UGA, @UF, Arky).

This Week’s Turrible Team

NCAA Basketball: Auburn at Vanderbilt
Pictured: Auburn’s best defender
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

After Auburn ended the non-conference slate with wins over Oklahoma on the Plains and UConn in Hartford, I bought in. I thought Bruce had the hosses to make a run now.

It’s still early in the season, but this week at least, I was very, very wrong. On Wednesday night in Nashville, the Tigers didn’t guard Matthew Fisher-Davis, Vanderbilt’s best player. Like, at all. He hit seven (!) 3’s, many of them simply wide open looks, on the way to a career-high 33 points in a game that Vandy led 21-2 after 6:09. A similarly impressive defensive display took place on Saturday in Auburn as UGA scored 53 second half points on their way to a 96-84 victory.


Bracket Matrix: Who Might Dance

Right now, it appears Kentucky and Florida can start booking flights for the middle of March.

Everyone else? Work left to do.

As a quick note, for the weekly feature, we’ll include anybody that is still showing up somewhere on Bracket Matrix. As more brackets come on line and people start paying more attention, the Auburns and Ole Misses of the world will fall off.

But for this week? Enjoy the one bracket where Tennessee is included.

Eye on the NCAA: January 4th

Team Average BM Seed # of Brackets (40) Bracketology KenPom RPI
Team Average BM Seed # of Brackets (40) Bracketology KenPom RPI
Kentucky 1 40 2 1 4
Florida 4 40 6 13 3
South Carolina 9 36 7 35 36
Arkansas 9 39 8 42 27
Texas A&M First Four Out 13 First Four Out 52 108
Georgia Next Four Out 11 N/A 54 50
Auburn Others 1 N/A 104 88
Ole Miss Others 2 N/A 87 48
Tennessee Others 1 N/A 65 81

Games to Watch: Week 2

Weekend: Arkansas at Kentucky

If you’ve only got 2 hours to spend watching SEC basketball this week, this is Volundore’s recommendation.

We just saw the Hogs in Knoxville. They’ve got athleticism, the ability to make shots, and, ostensibly, the pace and full-court defense to pressure a young team. The problem is Kentucky has better players and plays faster. Plus, ya know, the game’s at Rupp.

I don’t like Arkansas’ chances, but this is probably the 2nd or 3rd best opportunity for the Cats to trip up in conference. Yee haw.

Midweek: South Carolina at Tennessee

It’s not the most enthralling midweek slate. I could’ve gone with Kentucky at Vanderbilt (because this was one of my favorite sporting events OF ALL TIME), but they can’t all include the Cats.

The Gamecocks got Sindarius Thornwell back tonight and have a wounded A&M squad at home on Saturday. They could be in position to start strong in the SEC. Frank Martin can likely look at any number of losses from last year and think, “Maybe that’s the one that kept us out of the Dance,” and the one in Knoxville to a rebuilding Vols squad is probably on that list.

The Gamecocks won’t want similar regrets this year, and the Vols won’t want to fall to 1-3 if things don’t go their way on Saturday in Gainesville.