Heading into the last week of regular season games, here are the results of the latest SEC Power Poll. Kentucky is in the driver's seat to clinch the title, but they still have work to do and Vandy is hot on their trail. After two more losses last week, Bama is locked into the next-to-last spot in the poll.
1. Kentucky (120, unanimous #1) Despite their loss in Knoxville over the weekend, the Cats can still clinch the SEC title with just one win this week. Neither will come easily though, as they must travel to face a dangerous Georgia team in Athens on Wednesday before hosting bubble-battlers Florida on Sunday. The Cats can probably absorb one more loss and still hold on to a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament, but anything more than that could jeopardize that position.
2. Vanderbilt (109) The Dores are technically still alive for the SEC title, but they will have to win both of their games this week to even give themselves a chance. They travel to Gainesville tonight before hosting South Carolina on Saturday. Either way, they will likely earn a bye for the SEC tournament and are a lock for the NCAA tournament.
3. Tennessee (101) The Vols got a huge boost by beating Kentucky, but they have little chance of finishing in the top two in the East and getting a bye in the SEC tournament. They host struggling Arkansas on Wednesday before traveling to Starkville for a tough game on Saturday. They have clinched a spot in the NCAA tournament and are looking to improve their seeding.
4. Florida (86) The Gators are back to being squarely on the bubble after a damaging, though not surprising, loss at Georgia. This week will in all liklihood determine their destiny, as they must face the league's top two teams. They host Vandy tonight before traveling to Lexington on Sunday.
5. Mississippi State (84) The Bulldogs are putting together a nice win streak at just the right time. They are still on the bubble though, so they need to continue to pick up wins. They have a very dangerous game at Auburn on Wednesday--nearly "must-win" considering Auburn's poor RPI--before hosting a ranked Tennessee squad on Saturday.
6. Ole Miss (70, unanimous #6) The Rebels' play has dropped off noticeably as of late, but they managed to barely pull out wins over struggling Auburn and Alabama to keep their dwindling NCAA hopes alive. They must win both games this week to remain on the bubble heading into the SEC tournament. They host LSU on Thursday before traveling to Fayetteville on Saturday.
7. Arkansas (57) After losing three in a row, the Hogs have lost all hope of getting an NCAA bid. At this point they are fighting with Ole Miss for the #2 seed in the West and a possible NIT bid if they can finish strongly. They travel to Knoxville on Wednesday before hosting Ole Miss on Saturday.
8. Georgia (48) The Dawgs have been playing pretty well lately, probably well enough to avoid the #6 seed in the East and maybe even well enough to snag an NIT bid if they can pick up some wins in the SEC tournament. They host Kentucky on Wednesday before traveling to Baton Rouge on Saturday.
9. South Carolina (42) The Cocks have lost five in a row and are now in danger of missing postseason play entirely. They will have a good chance to turn things around on Wednesday when they host Alabama, but then they must travel to Nashville on Saturday.
10. Auburn (33) The Tigers are playing pretty well towards the end of the season, but none of their wins have come against the top-half teams in the league and their non-conference performance was poor. They have no chance of postseason play, but they could cause bubble-battlers MSU some major heartache when they host them on Wednesday, and they have a shot to sweep their arch-rivals when they travel to Tuscaloosa on Saturday.
11. Alabama (20, unanimous #11) The Tide has lost all hope of postseason play. The only question is whether they will finish with the #4 or #5 seed in the West. They have a chance to close strongly with two winnable games this week--traveling to Columbia on Wednesday before hosting Auburn on Saturday--but the #5 seed might be more beneficial for the SEC tournament.
12. LSU (10, unanimous #12) The Tigers got the proverbial monkey off their backs by getting their first SEC win of the season against Arkansas, so they no longer have to worry about being the first team since Dwight Eisenhower's first month in office to go winless in the league. They travel to Oxford on Thursday before hosting Georgia on Saturday.