We're back this week with our weekly SEC Hoops Power Poll. This week, we had 12 different blogs covering SEC basketball contribute in the voting. Results are listed below.
Now that each team is 6 or 7 games into the SEC slate, the same three SEC teams that appeared in the preseason top 25 polls find themselves in the top three spots of this week's Power Poll. Meanwhile, Bama continues its slow rise while South Carolina took a big hit.
#1...(16-4, 4-2 SEC)...projected NCAA #3 seed
Last week: Week off, then took care of Georgia at home.
This week: Road games at Ole Miss (tonight, ESPNU) and at Florida for a top-25 showdown.
Outlook: Even after dropping their first two SEC road games, the smart money is still on the Calipari Cats to take home their 189th SEC title.
#2...(16-5, 5-2 SEC)...projected NCAA #5 seed
Last week: Won a 2OT thriller at Georgia but then finished up the road trip with a loss at Mississippi State.
This week: Two massive home games with Vandy (tonight, ESPN) and Kentucky coming to Gainesville.
Outlook: Going 1-1 on the road against Georgia and Mississippi State isn't really an awful week, though the MSU loss will hurt their resume a bit thanks to the beatings State took without Sidney and Bost. Still, as their spot in this poll indicates, they're still in great shape.
#3...(14-7, 4-2 SEC)...projected NCAA #7 seed
Last week: Beat up on West foes LSU (at home) and Ole Miss (on the road).
This week: They'll continue their Western division run with a road game at Auburn (Thursday, ESPN) and a home game against Alabama.
Outlook: The Vols' stretch against West teams comes at a perfect time. Bruce Pearl has one more week left on his suspension and they seem to have righted their ship in time to make a run in February and March.
Tie--#4...(15-5, 3-3 SEC)...projected NCAA #6 seed
Last week: Nice road win at Mississippi State, but then couldn't defend Memorial Fortress against red-hot Arkansas.
This week: Big game at Florida (tonight, ESPN), then a return home to face South Carolina.
Outlook: The 'Dores weren't expecting to lose at home to Arkansas, but at 15-5 with a strong schedule and several good wins, most teams in the league would happily trade places with them.
Tie--#4...(13-7, 5-1 SEC)...projected NCAA automatic qualifier
Last week: Week off, then handily defeated LSU at home.
This week: Big West division showdown at home against Mississippi State (Wednesday, SEC Network), then a road trip to Knoxville.
Outlook: The Tide kept their momentum going after the bye week against LSU, but the next two weeks will test how far this team has really come.
#6...(14-6, 3-4 SEC)...projected NCAA bubble team
Last week: A heart-breaking 2OT loss at home to Florida, then a hard-fought loss at Kentucky.
This week: On the road to Arkansas (Wednesday, CSS), then home against Auburn.
Outlook: There's really no shame to be had in the 'Dawgs' two performances last week, despite the losses. Don't count them out.
#7...(14-6, 4-3 SEC)
Last week: Won ugly over Auburn at home, but then stunned Vandy at Memorial Fortress.
This week: They get two home games: first Georgia (Wednesday, CSS), then Ole Miss.
Outlook: The Hogs' two wins this week erased the doubts after their beatdown at Florida. They look ready to chase Alabama for the West lead.
#8...(11-9, 3-3 SEC)
Last week: Split their two tough home games, losing to Vandy but beating Florida.
This week: Two West road games: at Alabama (Wednesday, SEC Network), then at LSU.
Outlook: The Florida win showed they still have the pieces to be one of the better teams in the league. Nothing--good or bad--would surprise anyone out of this team down the stretch.
#9...(12-7, 3-3 SEC)
Last week: Had the week off, then laid a fat egg at home against lowly Auburn.
This week: Two road games: at LSU (Wednesday, SEC Network), then at Vandy.
Outlook: The 'Cocks' need to win at LSU to avoid back-to-back losses to the league's two worst teams. They'll be chasing the NIT from here on out.
#10...(13-8, 1-5 SEC)
Last week: Week off, then lost at home to Tennessee.
This week: Another brutal week with Kentucky at home (tonight, ESPNU), then a road game at Arkansas.
Outlook: No team--East or West--has had a tougher schedule to start league play. It's probably too late for them to finish atop the West, but this is a way better team than their SEC record indicates.
#11...(10-11, 2-4 SEC)
Last week: Got smoked in road games at Tennessee and at Alabama.
This week: A pair of home games against South Carolina (Wednesday, SEC Network) and Mississippi State.
Outlook: The Tigers have been putrid in their last four outings. With Auburn showing at least a pulse they better watch out or the unthinkable could happen: they could get passed by Auburn.
#12...(8-13, 1-6 SEC)
Last week: Continued signs of improvement in a close loss at Arkansas and a stunning win at South Carolina.
This week: They'll get Tennessee at home (Thursday, ESPN) and then Georgia on the road.
Outlook: It's going to take more than one win to move them out of the cellar, but to their credit they continue to play hard and improve.
* * *
For the record, my votes in the poll:
6) Alabama (still not ready to put us ahead of the five projected tournament/bubble teams)
9) South Carolina
10) Ole Miss
So my votes were virtually identical to the results, with the only exception being I had Bama a little lower than others.