SEC Basketball is in the final week of the regular season, with teams having only one or two more regular-season games to play before the start of the SEC Tournament. With a projected six SEC teams to be in the NCAA tournament, according to ESPN’s bracketology, the race for the SEC title will come down to the wire starting next week. But before the tournament begins, teams look to improve their records to solidify their spot in the race to win March Madness.
Four SEC teams in action tonight
There are two scheduled SEC games tonight. The Florida Gators host the Missouri Tigers, while the Mississippi State Bulldogs travel to College Station to take on the Texas A&M Aggies.
The Gators, currently ranked third in the SEC, can lock up the third seed in the SEC tournament with two wins in their final two games. Coming off a big win against Kentucky on the road Saturday, Tre Mann and company looks to continue the Gators momentum down the stretch. Mann, who was named the SEC player of the week last week, leads the Gators in scoring, rebounds, and assists per game averaging 14.7 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.4 assists.
The Missouri Tigers dropped out of the top 25 this week after falling to Ole Miss last Tuesday. The Tigers, currently ranked seventh in the SEC, can move up in the rankings with two wins to end the season. However, the Tigers will need Ole Miss and Tennessee to lose if they want to move up. The Tigers’ leading scorer is Xavier Pinson, who averages 14 points per game, while the team as a whole average 73.9 points per game.
Texas A&M has not played a game in over a month due to Covid-19 issues. The last game the Aggies played was January 30 against Kansas State, beating the Wildcats by seven points in the SEC/Big 12 challenge. Currently ranked second to last in the SEC, the Aggies will look to win their ninth game of the season in their 16th game against Mississippi State.
The Bulldogs are coming off a close loss to the now eighth-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday. Despite being down 13 points at halftime in their game Saturday, a late-game surge was not enough as Alabama held off the Bulldogs 64-59. The Bulldogs will look to get back on track against the Aggies tonight, as they are currently the eighth seed in the SEC.
Alabama and Arkansas cruise to wins last night
Eight SEC teams took the court last night. The eighth-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide and the 12th ranked Arkansas Razorbacks defeated their opponents last night in a comfortable fashion. The LSU Tigers defeated the Vanderbilt Commodores, and the Ole Miss Rebels defeated the Kentucky Wildcats, as well.
The Crimson Tide defeated the Auburn Tigers 70-58. A dominant first-half for the Tide allowed the team to cruise in the second half, earning their 15th conference win of the season. Jaden Shackelford led Alabama in scoring with 23 points, and Herbery Jones added 10 points along with nine rebounds and six assists. Three players posted double-digits for the Tigers. Jaylin Williams led the team with 13 points, Devan Cambridge scored 11 points, and Jamal Johnson added 10 points.
The Razorbacks demolished the Gamecocks 101-73 last night to earn their 10th straight SEC win. The Razorbacks had three scorers scoring in the 20s, as Moses Moody led the team with 28 points and seven rebounds. Justin Smith scored 22 points and JD Notae came off the bench, tallying 21 points, five rebounds, and five assists.
The Razorbacks dominated from the start, scoring 49 points in the first half, and continued to pour it on in the second half, scoring 52 points as a team. The Gamecocks had three scorers in double digits. AJ Lawson led the team with 18 points, Keyshawn Bryant had 13 points and nine rebounds, and Jalyn McCreary added 10 points off the bench.
The Crimson Tide clinched the number one seed in the SEC Tournament with their win last night, while the Razorbacks locked up the two-seed with their win. The three seed in the tournament is still up for grabs.
Florida holds the three seed as of now, but LSU and Tennessee are all fighting for the seed, as well. If the Gators win out, they will have the three seed in the tournament, but two losses may drop the Gators to the five seed. LSU needs the Gators to lose out if they want the three seed, but the Tigers will have to win their game Saturday as well to have a chance at the three seed.