SEC Tournament breakdown

March 12, 2013 

Who’s hot and who’s not, who’s got the best chance to dance (ranked by tourney seeds):

FLORIDA

Record: 14-4 (24-6)

Trending: Flat

For a conference champ, the Gators and Erik Murphy are not playing their best ball at crunch time. They are 8-4 in their past 12 games. Kentucky loss may have cost them a No. 2 seed.

NCAA odds: 100%

KENTUCKY

Record: 12-6 (21-10)

Trending: Up

Can anyone recall the last time a runner-up in a power conference was left out of the dance? Coach John Calipari’s Wildcats have given the selection committee an out by losing at Georgia.

NCAA odds: 75%

OLE MISS

Record: 12-6 (23-8)

Trending: Up

Surprised to see the Rebels and forward Murphy Holloway trending up? They are 6-6 in their last 12, but are winners of four of their last five, including key wins against LSU and ’Bama.

NCAA odds: 55%

ALABAMA

Record: 12-6 (20-11)

Trending: Down

The Tide and guard Trevor Releford win the games they should, they lose the games you would expect them to lose. That is not going to get the dance card punched.

NCAA odds: 30%

TENNESSEE

Record: 11-7 (19-11)

Trending: Up

The light has come on for the Vols and guard Jordan McRae. They have won nine of their past 12, including wins against UK, Mizzou and Florida. They are a darkhorse to win the tourney.

NCAA odds: 50%

MISSOURI

Record: 11-7 (22-9)

Trending: Flat

The Tigers (No. 32 in RPI) pretty much are the only other NCAA lock beyond Florida, their rocky SEC road forgiven. Guard Phil Pressey is playing his best hoops of the year.

NCAA odds: 90%

ARKANSAS

Record: 10-8 (19-12)

Trending: Down

If you didn’t know which games were home and away, this resume looks solid. Yet here in the real world, such things matter and the Razorbacks are an awful 1-9 outside their pen.

NCAA odds: 5%

GEORGIA

Record: 9-9 (15-16)

Trending: Flat

Georgia, with SEC player of the year Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, is scary because it seems to play to the level of its opponent. One win would give them an upset opportunity against Florida.

NIT odds: 10%

LSU

Record: 9-9 (18-11)

Trending: Flat

LSU has a little postseason hope as a win against Georgia and a good show against Florida could lock up an NIT bid. Nice recent wins against Arkansas and Alabama.

NIT odds: 40%

VANDERBILT

Record: 8-10 (14-16)

Trending: Up

Commodores are an opening-round threat for Arkansas and present an intriguing quarterfinal challenge for Kentucky, should they dispatch the Hogs. Went 4-1 to close out SEC play.

NIT odds: 0%

TEXAS A&M

Record: 7-11 (17-14)

Trending: Freefall

The opposite of Vandy, the Aggies and guard Elston Turner went 1-4 to close out SEC play with the one win coming against USC at home. This is a team battling injuries.

NIT odds: 0%

USC

Record: 4-14 (14-17)

Trending: Down

The Gamecocks and star freshman Michael Carrera should be favored to do something they haven’t done in a while: Win a SEC tourney game. Tennessee would be next.

NIT odds: 0%

MISSISSIPPI STATE

Record: 4-14 (9-21)

Trending: Flat

The undermanned, overmatched Bulldogs actually won two of three to wrap up the regular season. The win against Ole Miss is inexplicable, while defeating Auburn is … well … yeah.

NIT odds: 0%

AUBURN

Record: 3-15 (9-22)

Trending: Down

The Tigers’ season has been over for a long time now. Losers of nine in a row, the final insult came Saturday, when their best shot wasn’t good enough to beat lowly Mississippi State.

NIT odds: 0%

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