Bracketology: SEC Outlook Update

A look into which teams have hopes of making the Big Dance as they enter the back stretch of regular season play.

The Prospects

*Seeding is provided from where they have compiled rankings from over 30 leading bracketoligists based on past accuracy*

Alabama Crimson Tide: 16-5 (11-1)

Best Seed: 2

Worst Seed: 4

Consensus: 2

The Tide finally dropped a conference game at Missouri this past weekend. Nate Oats team came out sloppy and undetermined. A late 21-2 run wasn’t enough to complete the comeback on the road. That being said they still hold the best defense in the country and a respectable offensive attack. The Tide have about as easy of a schedule possible remaining, apart from a road matchup with the Razorbacks.

My Projection: 2 – The Crimson Tide have looked a little sloppy over the last couple of games. They are still are playing at a much higher level than the majority of the league right now, and with an easy back slate they should finish at least 5-1 to complete a 16-2 conference record. This would leave the Tide as a strong 2 seed going into the Big Dance.

Floor: Sweet 16

Ceiling: Final 4

My Guess: Elite 8

Key Wins: Ole Miss, @Tennessee, Florida, Auburn, @Kentucky, Arkansas, @LSU, Mississippi State, Kentucky, LSU, @South Carolina
Key Losses: n-Stanford, n-Clemson, Western Kentucky, @Oklahoma, @Missouri

Tennessee Volunteers: 14-4 (7-4)

Best Seed: 2

Worst Seed: 5

Consensus: 3

As the pair of Tennessee freshman look more like their 5 star ratings, the Volunteers are looking increasingly dangerous each game. Tennessee currently holds the 2nd best defensive efficiency in the country and plays at a slow pace. This style of play breaks teams down over the course of the game and has brought them to a 14-4 record.

My Projection: 3 – The Volunteers also have five relatively easy games left apart from a road game with LSU. If they can pick up four of these they will be primed for a 3 seed come selection Sunday. This team looks very solid with a floor but probably lacks Giant Killer capabilities past the Sweet 16.

Floor: Sweet 16

Ceiling: Elite 8

My Guess: Sweet 16

Key Wins: Colorado, @Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi State, Kansas, @Kentucky
Key Losses: Alabama, @Florida, Missouri, @Ole Miss

Missouri Tigers: 13-4 (6-4)

Best Seed: 2

Worst Seed: 5

Consensus: 3

Missouri picked up a huge resume booster with a win over Alabama at home. They proceeded to lose to Ole Miss by a shocking 21 points. The Tigers have an impressive resume but their metrics fall far behind their AP Rank. The Tigers rank 39th in AdjO and 49th AdjD. Look for the metrics to catch up with them down the stretch.

My Projection: 4 – I have to side with the metrics on this one. The Tigers are well rounded but they don’t do anything particularly well. Look for them to finish 4-2 in conference play and come into March Madness as a 4 seed. Missouri is talented enough to make a run but I would bet against it myself.

Floor: Round of 64

Ceiling: Sweet 16

My Guess: Round of 64

Key Wins: n-Oregon, Illinois, @Arkansas, @Tennessee, TCU, Kentucky, Alabama
Key Losses: Tennessee, @Mississippi State, @Auburn, @Ole Miss

Florida Gators: 10-5 (6-4)

Best Seed: 6

Worst Seed: 9

Consensus: 7

The Gators are hard to get a grasp on this season. With big wins over West Virginia, Tennessee, and LSU they looked the part for a moment there. They have since dropped an ugly home loss to South Carolina and have been on COVID pause. Their offense ranks 20th in AjdO while their defense has struggled coming in at 50th in the nation.

My Projection: 8 – The Gators have three big matchups down the stretch that will shape their tournament resume (@Arkansas, @Kentucky, and Missouri). I have them finishing at 13-8 and grabbing a 9 seed in March Madness. Once there they have shown ability to hang with good teams but would likely face a 1 seed in the second round. Their seeding should dictate their ceiling in March.

Floor: Round of 64

Ceiling: Sweet 16

My Guess: Round of 32

Key Wins: LSU, Ole Miss, Tennessee, @West Virginia
Key Losses: @Florida State, @Alabama, Kentucky, @Mississippi State, South Carolina

Arkansas Razorbacks: 15-5 (7-4)

Best Seed: 7

Worst Seed: 12

Consensus: 9

The Razorbacks are starting to put it all together down the stretch and have a healthy squad at the moment. They have one of the hardest back halves of the schedule in the league with games against at Missouri, Florida, Alabama, LSU, and at South Carolina to wrap up the regular season. This stretch should be a good indicator of what the Hogs are capable of going into March.

My Projection: 8 – A well rounded Arkansas team coming off a nice win in Lexington has every reason to feel confident right now. This confidence will be tested and potentially broken near the end of the regular season. If the Hogs manage to win four of their last six they could start pushing for the important 7 seed in March. I have them finishing 3-3 and coming in as an 8/9 for the Big Dance. This is a good team but if they matchup with a 1 seed in the second round I wouldn’t bet on any miracles.

Floor: Round of 64

Ceiling: Sweet 16

My Guess: Round of 32

Key Wins: @Auburn, Auburn, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, @Kentucky
Key Losses: Missouri, @Tennessee, @LSU, @Alabama, @Oklahoma State

LSU Tigers 12-6 (7-4)

Best Seed: 8

Worst Seed: OUT

Consensus: 11

The Tigers should be a lock with some serious talent building up their roster. Will Wade seems to be doing his best to slow this squad down as they have fallen in a lot of areas metrically. The Tigers are currently a true bubble team but they should be able to squeeze into the tournament. They have a powerful offense (6th in the country) but rank 148th in AdjD. If they can shore things up on the defensive end they become a real threat down the stretch.

My Projection: 10 – The Tigers have the talent of a 3-5 seed but have struggled to prove that this season. If they make the tournament I expect them to be dangerous but they need to get to that point first. If they come in as a 8/9 they would have the potential to knock off a 1 seed but it would still be very unlikely. LSU had only one “bad” loss on the season, at Saint Louis, but that was also the second game of the year. The Tigers will be interesting to watch down the stretch.

Floor: Round of 64

Ceiling: Elite 8

My Guess: Sweet 16

Key Wins: Ole Miss, Arkansas, South Carolina
Key Losses: @Saint Louis, @Florida, Alabama, @Kentucky, Texas Tech, @Alabama


Kentucky: Again, this team is too talented to not be a threat in the SEC tournament. If they hit their stride they could very easily make the Conference Championship game in early March. This is a long shot but I am not counting the Wildcats out quite yet.

Ole Miss: The Rebels are hitting their stride right now with three big wins in a row. Their last win coming with a 21 point beatdown of the Missouri Tigers. They have shown they can hang with anyone in this league and could make a push in the conference tournament.



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Selection Sunday

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