Around the SEC: Week 12
Another week has come and gone in the SEC basketball season, and most teams continue to leave questions about this mad and messy conference. Through all this madness, let us take a look at some of the biggest stories from the past week.
Missouri holds off Alabama, ruining the Crimson Tide’s perfect conference record
Alabama was handed its first loss when it headed to Columbia, Missouri, this past Saturday. Despite being down 16 points at halftime, the Crimson Tide fought back in an attempt to keep their perfect record intact. Herbert Jones had a go-ahead layup roll out, which led to the Tigers securing the 68-65 victory. Missouri’s Dru Smith got hot early, finishing with 16 points and eight rebounds.
This was Alabama’s first conference loss, raising some eyebrows. However, the Crimson Tide were able to bounce back with a narrow three-point win over South Carolina on Tuesday. Missouri, on the other hand, followed up its upset win over Alabama with a 21-point loss to Ole Miss, further shaking up the SEC standings.
Ole Miss is heating up, while Kentucky is staying cooled down
Ole Miss has now won three straight games against top-tier teams, putting its name in the pool of teams on the tournament bubble. The Rebels have defeated Tennessee, Auburn and Missouri all within the past week. Devontae Shuler has been leading the way for the Rebels, as he scored in double figures in all three wins. This hot stretch included 26 against Auburn, which entailed a buzzer beater in overtime to seal the victory.
On the other end of the spectrum, Kentucky continues to struggle. The Wildcats have lost four in a row to bring their conference record down to 4-7. The normal powerhouse hasn’t been able to find a rhythm or consistent play all year and appears to be out of all tournament conversation. However, look for the Wildcats to end the season strong to gain some momentum and play spoiler for teams on the bubble of the big dance.
Matchups to watch this weekend
Saturday holds a lot of interesting matchups for the SEC, possibly none bigger than LSU vs. Tennessee. With both teams sitting at 7-4 and tied for second in the conference, neither team will want to lose. Volunteers freshman Jaden Springer has taken off as of late, scoring 30 points in Tennessee’s latest win over Georgia. However, LSU has a prized freshman of its own—Cameron Thomas—who averages 22.3 points per game and will look to steal a win for the Tigers in Baton Rouge.
Other intriguing matchups include Arkansas traveling to Missouri in another battle of top-half SEC teams, and freshman standout Sharife Cooper leading the Auburn Tigers into Lexington to try to pick up a statement win over the struggling Wildcats.
Other matchups this weekend include Vanderbilt at Mississippi State, Georgia at Alabama, Ole Miss at South Carolina, and Texas A&M at Florida.
Charlie Knezevic is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.