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SEC Bracketology Breakdown

Resumes sure are fickle things.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 30 South Carolina at Tennessee Photo by Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Greetings, BBN!

Resumes sure are fickle things. Teams are hitting the 20-game mark across Division 1, and the top half of the SEC has been bouncing in and out and around the bracket like a movie theater popcorn machine. One team is 15-5, in the top ten of the AP poll, and a projected 5-seed, while another team that just beat them on their own floor is 15-6 but out of the field of 68 entirely. Meanwhile, 18-3 South Carolina is looking at a 6-seed right now, while 18-3 Ole Miss is nowhere to be found in the bracket. I don’t know of many other sports where records are of such secondary status: it’s all about the resume.

Let’s take a look at where each SEC team is in Joe Lunardi’s ESPN bracket and examine some of these resumes:

SEC Bracketology February 2nd:

The Good: South Carolina’s resume

The Gamecocks came into the season out of the polls, out of the bracket, and projected to finish last in the SEC. Then they started 13-1, but even with as gaudy a record as that were for weeks just a First Four team in the Last Four In zone of bracketologists. Since then they’ve gone 5-2...and shot up to a 6-seed. They’ll also probably be close to the top-15 of the next AP poll after being unranked to date. Why this sudden shot up? Resume: before last week they hadn’t beaten anybody good, but now they’ve gone from 15-3 with no good wins to 18-3 with a win over top-10 Kentucky and a road win over top-10 Tennessee.

Think about it this way: to bracketologists the first 18 games of their season they won, and won, and won, and it hardly registered. Now 21 games into the season they are looking at prime real estate squarely in the middle of the field and top-15 status in the polls—all because they beat Kentucky and Tennessee.

The Bad: Ole Miss’s resume

The Rebels have had the exact same season as South Carolina, going 18-3 with a similar schedule, but are nowhere to be found even in the First Four Out and Next Four Out. Why? Since there’s no Kentucky or Tennessee wins or top-25 wins of any kind, there’s no resume. They’ve had cracks at Tennessee and Auburn already, and have a rematch with Auburn, a Kentucky game, and an Alabama game still remaining, but no matter how pretty their record stays unless they can put a top-25 of some kind on that blank resume of theirs, March Madness will pass them and their 167-3 record by.

The Good: Kentucky’s resume

The Cats are 15-5, while Florida is 15-6. The Cats have lost at home to Florida and UNC Wilmington (ouch), and dropped a few others to quality teams or in conference road games. With all this, UK’s projected to be a 5-seed, and Florida’s not in the field at all. Huh? What! Yep, and that’s because the Cats have a resume and Florida, while yes they did just win at Kentucky, is still slightly lacking. The Cats have a resume, and that’s why they’re nowhere close to the bubble. They beat North Carolina on a neutral floor on December 16th, and I think that’s 90% of the reason why they aren’t hovering around the Last Four In and First Four Out like they were this time last year—that UNC win is resume, and have resume, will dance.