The SEC basketball season is winding to a close. The big close is set for this weekend, with only postseason tournaments after.
In 2017, SEC basketball has been very on brand, that is making a complete mockery of preseason voters. Two teams, Auburn and Tennessee, were picked to finish in the SEC cellar, and those two teams currently sit in a tie for first place, followed by more traditional powers such as Florida and Kentucky.
Only two teams, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt, were able to be considered “bad.” Both of those teams coincidentally pulled off large upsets over Florida and Alabama, respectively.
So without further ado, let us dive right into the final, definitive SEC Basketball Power Rankings.
The Vols are BACK, at least in basketball. They will clinch at least a share of the SEC title with a win over Georgia this weekend. Tennessee could be a problem to deal with in the NCAA tournament
Florida was a weird team to gauge all season. One minute they were beating Duke, the next they were blowing said lead over Duke or losing to a lesser opponent. Nevertheless, Florida is a win in their season finale away from clinching a double-bye, and a good seed in the NCAA tournament.
A much-maligned Kentucky team, whether it was misplaced skepticism or not, has a chance to win at Florida on Saturday, securing a double-bye in the SEC tournament and avenging a close loss from earlier in the season.
Oh, what could have been for Auburn if the FBI had not decided to look into college basketball. The Tigers are 24-6, without two four-stars (Danjel Purifoy, Austin Wiley) in the 247Sports Composite, needing just a win over South Carolina to clinch an SEC title, though losing Anfernee McLemore to injury recently has led them to lose three out of the last four.
The Hogs have an outstanding duo of Senior guards, Daryl Macon and Jaylen Barford. The Hogs will be scary in the NCAA tournament, as those two could heat up and take over a game at any moment. Arkansas can secure a double-bye with a win, since they are in a three-way tie with Kentucky and Florida with those two teams playing one another.
Alabama’s goal all season has been to get me to make an ass of myself, I’m convinced. Every time I say they can be a dangerous tourney team, they go and fall off of a cliff. Consequently, when I move them down, they start winning again.
7. Mississippi State
Mississippi State would be firmly in the seat for a Double-Bye if it were not for those fateful two losses at Missouri and Vanderbilt. Regardless of questionable officiating, Mississippi State has been much-improved this year.
I’m still convinced Missouri wins the SEC if Michael Porter Jr. does not go down, what, two minutes into the season?
9. Texas A&M
I’m really not sorry for cursing you, Aggies. You were first in the inaugural Power Rankings and never managed to recover.
Tremont Waters kept LSU respectable, ensuring they will not have a losing season season this year.
If Yante Maten was on a conference contender, he would be the clear-cut favorite to win SEC Player of the Year. He still may win it, but him being on Georgia makes it a competition.
12. South Carolina
The Gamecocks will always have that Final Four banner from their sensational run a season ago, or will they? Maybe they will be cellmates with Auburn in NCAA Supermax Prison, next to Ole Miss football.
Vanderbilt has a good recruiting class!
14. Ole Miss
Ole Miss saw their winningest coach in school history step down during the season. Ole Miss was an SEC afterthought, after being in the conversation every year for the better part of a decade. Ole Miss has a shiny new pavilion, but nothing to go with it as of this moment in time.