These first couple weeks of SEC play have not been what I expected. I’ve said repeatedly that while South Carolina, Texas A&M, Mississippi State, and others might be in the field heading into conference play, they’ll only be leaving conference play still in the field with big-time proof of their mettle.
Well, here we are at the end of January, and some of the guests still haven’t left the party—Mississippi State, South Carolina, and Texas A&M are still in the 8-11 seed range, and Ole Miss, Florida, and Georgia are still very much alive and kicking from outside. One full month to go before March: gotta keep fighting and not heed the wounds.
Let’s take a look at where each SEC team is in Joe Lunardi’s ESPN bracket:
SEC Bracketology January 27th
The Good: Texas A&M and South Carolina have found a way to survive
In the month of January, both the Aggies and the Gamecocks have had their seasons on the brink but now find themselves still in the bracket and firmly in, enjoying plenty of elbow room in single-digit seed territory. The reason? Quite simple: each beat a top-10 Kentucky squad at home. I wonder how many teams Kentucky will “allow in the bracket” this way. At least let Tennessee “let some in” too.
The Bad: Missouri and Vanderbilt in flames
January has been a dumpster fire for Missouri and Vanderbilt, who are 0-6 and 0-5 in conference play, respectively, and are spiraling toward two very ugly final records. This isn’t unusual for Vandy, but Missouri’s coming off a Round of 32 tournament run as a 7-seed. Huge fall from glory for them.
Keep an Eye On: Georgia Still Lurking
Sometimes it’s all about staying alive. The Bulldogs’ clutch And-1 in the final seconds against LSU bumped them to 14-5 heading into a week against Florida and Alabama. The Bama game is a home game, and it better be a sellout because that’ll definitely be a time for one.