For the first time this season, Roll 'Bama Roll will be participating in the SEC Hoops Power Poll. We're somewhat late to the party, but starting this week we'll update you with the weekly results which are released each Monday. Starting this weekend, I'll submit a draft ballot on the site and open things up for comments to decide on a final ballot for Roll 'Bama Roll. I submitted our ballot for this week on my own.
Below are the results for this week, which were released Monday and so do not include last night's game. There were nine SEC basketball blogs participating in the poll this week.
1. Kentucky (108, unanimous #1)- Despite starting three freshmen, the #2 'Cats are inching ever closer to their first SEC title in five years. If they survive this brutal week of road trips, they should clinch the conference title and all but wrap up a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament. They prevailed last night in a nail-biting overtime win in Starkville, but the real test will come on Saturday in Nashville, where Vandy is all but unbeatable.
2. Vanderbilt (96, unanimous #2)- In the midst of one of their best seasons in school history, the #19 'Dores are within reach of their first SEC title in 17 years. It won't come easily though, as they must travel to face Ole Miss tomorrow night before hosting Kentucky in a huge game on Saturday. Win both, and they will find themselves atop the SEC standings. Regardless of whether they can catch the 'Cats, Vandy will be dancing this season and will likely have a high seed.
3. Tennessee (88)- The #18 Vols dropped both games last week, but they were on the road against Vandy and Kentucky. They have a good chance to rebound this week with a home game against Georgia tonight and a trip to Columbia on Saturday. Despite the recent losses, the Vols look all but certain to make the Dance.
4. Mississippi State (75)- The Bulldogs have been somewhat disappointing this year after a lofty preseason ranking, but they are still the most talented team in the West. They lost a heart-breaker last night in OT against #2 Kentucky and are currently without their leading scorer Ravern Johnson due to suspension, but MSU can still make the Dance if they finish strongly, beginning with their trip to LSU on Saturday. They are currently squarely on the NCAA bubble, so they must finish strongly in SEC play.
5. Florida (69)- The Gators have been a hard team to figure out this season. Just when it looks like they are a top-20 caliber team, they fall flat on their face, and just when it looks like their tournament hopes are down and out, they rally and find ways to win. Like MSU, they are squarely on the NCAA bubble, so they must finish strongly. They need to beat Auburn at home on Thursday night, and then they have a great opportunity on the road against fellow bubble-dwellers Ole Miss on Saturday.
6. Ole Miss