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Grading every SEC team’s NCAA Tournament thus far

The league is having an amazing March

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Utah State v Missouri Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

As the Sweet 16 gets underway, the SEC has had one of its best NCAA Tournaments in recent memory, with half the league’s teams not only playing in March but wreaking havoc in it on the road to the Final Four. Let’s grade every team’s performance in the tourney thus far, even if they are already out:


The #1 overall seed has been on cruise control through the first two rounds, being one of the very few teams in the bracket to roll into the Sweet 16 without really breaking a sweat. Grade: A

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The Volunteers have surprised many by toppling Duke in an impressive performance and have a very favorable Final Four path thanks to Purdue and Marquette’s demises. Grade: A


The Wildcats took care of business in a feel-good win over Providence, but ultimately could not make March different than the regular season and came up short against one of the season’s surprise great teams: Kansas State. Grade: C+

7-Texas A&M

The Aggies had a red-hot January and February where they romped through the SEC and came into the NCAAs vastly underseeded to some. They didn’t play at all like that was the case in their early exit against Penn State. Grade: D


No one thought the Tigers were going to the NCAAs in Dennis Gates’s first year, yet not only did they make the bracket but they made it as a 7-seed and won a game. While that’s a huge accomplishment, they also wasted a terrific opportunity to crash the Sweet 16 when 15-seed Princeton not only upset them but ran past them. Grade: C+


No one wants to face Eric Musselman and the Hogs in the NCAA Tournament. Nobody. They are your worst nightmare. Giant-killers. Not afraid of anybody and will find any way to beat you they can, even if you’re the defending national champions. Third straight Sweet 16 for Arkansas and all without being a 1 or 2-seed. Grade: A+


Auburn got past Iowa without too much trouble and gave Houston a scare for a while, putting a solid cap on a kind of weak regular season and continuing their recent history of being a tough out in March. Grade: A

11-Mississippi State

The Bulldogs had one of the shortest March trips of any tourney team as they got bounced in the first night of the First Four, but only lost by a point and didn’t vastly underachieve. They took a step in the right direction this season, but there’s still much room for improvement. Grade: C