SEC Power Rankings (2/10/20): Hogs tumble after two OT losses

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My SEC Power Rankings (2/10/20): It’s the league’s version of musical chairs as Nos. 1-3 shuffle spots this week with Auburn climbing back to No. 1 following two overtime wins while previous SEC-unbeaten LSU fell twice last week.

1. Auburn (21-2, 8-2 SEC) … No. 15 NCAA NET … following a win over Kentucky on Feb. 1, the Tigers won twice in overtime last week — 79-76 at Arkansas and 91-90 at home against LSU … Auburn is now 4-0 in overtime games on the season … guards Samir Doughty and J’Von McCormick were the catalysts for both wins as Auburn forced a three-way tie with Kentucky and LSU atop the SEC standings … league games this week are home against Alabama on Wednesday and at Missouri on Saturday … previous ranking: No. 2.

2. Kentucky (18-5, 8-2 SEC) … No. 22 NCAA NET … the ‘Cats won twice last week against teams in the top-half of the league standings — 80-72 over Mississippi State at home in the mid-week and 77-64 at Tennessee on Saturday … big man Nick Richards combined for 42 points and 18 rebounds in the two victories as Big Blue now finds itself in a three-way tie for first place in the SEC … the Wildcats play at Vanderbilt on Tuesday before hosting Ole Miss on Saturday … previous ranking: No. 3.

3. LSU (17-6, 8-2 SEC) … No. 27 NCAA NET … a shocking 99-90 loss at Vanderbilt not only halted the Commodore’s 28-game losing streak against league foes but it marked the Tigers’ first loss of the season against SEC competition …. it was followed by a thrilling 91-90 overtime loss at Auburn on Saturday as senior guard Skylar Mays had 30 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds … LSU’s defense is suddenly under the microscope after giving up a combined 190 points in two games last week … the Tigers now have as many SEC losses (through 10 games) that they had in all 18 games last season en route to winning the league crown … LSU hosts Missouri on Tuesday before playing at Alabama on Saturday …previous ranking: No. 1.

4. Mississippi State (15-8, 6-4 SEC) … No. 41 NCAA NET … the Bulldogs have won 6 of their last 7 league games, which includes last week’s 80-72 loss at Kentucky followed by an 80-70 home win over Vanderbilt on Saturday … sophomore forward Reggie Perry had 25 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 assists in the win over the Commodores, but he was outplayed by Kentucky big man Nick Richards earlier in the week … Perry remains the only SEC player averaging a double-double and is on the short list for SEC Player of the Year talk … league games this week are at Ole Miss on Tuesday and at Arkansas on Saturday … previous ranking: tie No. 4.

5. Florida (14-9, 6-4 SEC) … No. 45 NCAA NET … the Gators split games last week, overcoming a 22-point deficit to defeat Georgia, 81-75, in the mid-week before losing at Ole Miss, 68-51, on Saturday … Florida has lost 4 of its last 6 games as the Gators continue to under-perform relative to the talent in Gainesville … sophomore guard Andrew Nembhard scored 25 points in the win over Georgia … league games this week are on the road against Texas A&M on Wednesday and home against Vanderbilt on Saturday … previous ranking: tie No. 4.

6. South Carolina (14-9, 6-4 SEC) … No. 77 NCAA NET … the Gamecocks split games last week, losing 84-70 at Ole Miss in the mid-week before blowing out Texas A&M 74-54 on Saturday … USC-E team has won 6 of its last 8 contests and is 5-3 in true road games with all of those wins coming against high-major competition … freshman guard Jermaine Couisnard had 19 points in the win over the Aggies … league games this week are at Georgia on Wednesday and home against Tennessee on Saturday … previous ranking: tie No. 4.

7. Tennessee (13-10, 5-5 SEC) … No. 68 NCAA NET … the Vols split games last week, picking up a big road win over Alabama, 69-68, in the mid-week before a 77-64 loss at home against Kentucky on Saturday … senior guard Jordan Bowden had 20 points and 7 rebounds in the win over the Tide, then he followed up with 16 points and 9 rebounds against the Wildcats … league games this week are home against Arkansas on Tuesday and on the road against South Carolina on Saturday … previous ranking: No. 7.

tie 8. Alabama (13-10, 5-5 SEC) … No. 42 NCAA NET … the Tide split games last week, losing 69-68 at home against Tennessee in the mid-week for their third consecutive loss before bouncing back for a 105-102 overtime road win over Georgia on Saturday … sophomore guard Kira Lewis, Jr., scored a career-high 37 points to go with 7 assists and 5 rebounds against the ‘Dogs … league games this week are difficult as ‘Bama faces two of the three league leaders — at Auburn on Wednesday and home against LSU on Saturday … previous ranking: tie No. 4. 

tie 8. Arkansas (16-7, 4-6 SEC) … No. 38 NCAA NET … the Hogs’ lost both games last week — 79-76 at home against Auburn and 83-79 at Missouri — as both tilts were decided in overtime … Arkansas’s overall resume suggests the team should be ranked in the top 6 in the league, but with preseason All SEC pick Isaiah Joe either playing hurt or missing three games the Hogs managed to win only twice in their last seven games, and with Joe out indefinitely after an arthroscopic knee procedure last week it appears the team could be in for more struggles as the grind of the second half of SEC play unfolds … the SEC’s leading scorer Mason Jones had three straight games of 30 or more points, but a sobering reality is the Hogs are 1-4 in SEC games when he scores 30 or more points … Arkansas is back on the road for a Tuesday matchup against Tenessee followed by a home game against Mississippi State on Saturday … previous ranking: tie No. 4.

10. Texas A&M (11-11, 5-5 SEC) … No. 136 NCAA NET … the Aggies split games last week, winning convincingly, 68-51, at home against Missouri in the mid-week before getting pounded, 74-54, at South Carolina on Saturday … senior big man Josh Nebo had 18 points and 6 rebounds in the win over Mizzou … four of the Aggies’ last five games have seen double-digit final margins as the team finished 2-3 in those contests … league games this week are both at home — against Florida on Wednesday and Georgia on Saturday … previous ranking: No. 9.

11. Ole Miss (12-11, 3-7 SEC) … No. 93 NCAA NET … the Rebels finally had a good week, winning twice at home in convincing fashion — 84-70 over South Carolina in the mid-week followed by a 68-51 thrashing of Florida on Saturday … senior guard Breein Tyree was named SEC Player of the Week on Monday after combining for 61 points in the two wins, including a 38-point explosion against the Gamecocks … league games this week are home against Mississippi State on Tuesday and at Kentucky on Saturday … previous ranking: tie No. 12.

12. Missouri (11-12, 3-7 SEC) … No. 96 NCAA NET … the Tigers split last week, losing 68-51 at Texas A&M before outlasting a sluggish and sloppy Arkansas squad, 83-79, in overtime on Saturday … guard Xavier Pinson had 24 points and 7 rebounds in the win over the Hogs … league games this week are at LSU on Tuesday and home against Auburn on Saturday … previous ranking: tie No. 12.

13. Georgia (12-11, 2-8 SEC) … No. 91 NCAA NET … the Bulldogs were swept last week — surrendering a 22-point lead in an 81-75 road loss at Florida before a 105-102 overtime home loss against Alabama on Saturday … the ‘Dogs also let a 20-point lead slip away in losing at Missouri a couple of weeks ago … freshman sensation Anthony Edwards combined for 46 points and 18 rebounds in the two defeats last week … league league games this week are home against South Carolina on Wednesday and at Texas A&M on Saturday … previous ranking: No. 11.

14. Vanderbilt (9-14, 1-9 SEC) … No. 152 NCAA NET … after 28 consecutive losses against SEC competition dating back to the 2017-18 season, Vandy finally broke though to the W column with a 99-90 win over then-league-unbeaten LSU on Wednesday … on Saturday, the Commodores lost, 80-70, at Mississippi State … junior guards Saban Lee and Maxwell Evans scored 33 and 31 points, respectively, in the win over LSU … league games this week are home against Kentucky on Tuesday and on the road against Florida on Saturday … previous ranking: No. 14.

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