The Kentucky Wildcats have stretched their run to 27-0 and are heavy favorites to close out the regular season undefeated and run through the SEC Tournament. Kentucky has been lucky with their SEC schedule as they have only played each of the top teams once. Arkansas will travel to Rupp Arena on Saturday, but that game would be much more threatening if the Wildcats were playing in Fayetteville. If Kentucky fails to enter the NCAA Tournament undefeated, a potential semifinal match-up with a Texas A&M squad that pushed the Wildcats to overtime in College Station early in conference play. The Aggies lead our 5-second count of what has happened in SEC play:
Starting 5…The Texas A&M Aggies are 10-2 in conference play since Jalen Jones returned from an ankle injury. The Aggies have 11 players that average more than 11 minutes per game. Alex Caruso leads the SEC in assists at 5.9 assists per game and is second in steals at 1.8 per game. Jalen Jones and Kourtney Roberson are both double-digit scorers in the front court and average more than 6 boards per game. The Aggies have the depth and starting talent to play into the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament.
FORE!…After a 2-0 start to conference play, Alabama was poised to make the NCAA Tournament if they could avoid bad losses and maintain the tempo that served them well in pre-conference play. Instead, coach Anthony Grant reverted to the turtle pace of previous seasons and the Crimson Tide have more bricks in the NIT wall--including a home loss to Vanderbilt--than chances left to make the Big Dance. At 3-38 against top 50 RPI teams over the last 3 seasons, Bama was unable to get a shot off at the end of both regulation and overtime in a home loss to Georgia on Saturday night...something that has happened far too often for a team well respected for their toughness prior to the final possessions. The only finishing getting done in Tuscaloosa is likely to be a buyout.
3D...The SEC held an impromptu dunk contest Saturday as Kentucky's Willie Cauley-Stein half-windmilled home an incredible pass from Tyler Ulis against Auburn.
Not to be outdone, LSU's Jarell Martin went between the legs to finish off a breakaway against the Gators.
2 for the Show…After a couple of weeks with few games between top teams, this Saturday features a heavyweight doubleheader with Ole Miss at LSU at 2:00 p.m. and Arkansas at Kentucky at 4:00 p.m. The Ole Miss-LSU winner will be firmly on the right side of the bubble while Arkansas has the best chance at pushing the Wildcats before postseason play begins.
And 1…Mississippi junior guard Stefan Moody has been everything for Ole Miss that Marshall Henderson was hyped to be. The Rebels have won 8 of their last 9 conference games to move into a third-place tie with Texas A&M in league play at 10-4. Moody has scored more than 14 points in all but one SEC game. Over his last 5 games, the Florida Atlantic transfer is averaging 20 points per game while making 52% of a whopping 42 three-point attempts. Maybe if he starts missing shots and acting like a jerk, he can gain the attention garnered by a previous Ole Miss transfer.