Not much changed for the SEC in Joe Lunardi’s newest edition of Bracketology. For the second consecutive week, five SEC squads were listed in Lunardi’s NCAA tournament prognostication.
However, one team to watch could be the Vanderbilt Commodores. Vandy is 12-9 and 4-4 in conference play, but their tournament hopes aren’t dead yet. Lunardi listed the Commodores as the fourth team left out of the field in his latest projection. The problem is Vanderbilt lacks many signature wins after coming up short in numerous high-profile games. If the Commodores want to make the dance, beating Texas A&M on Tuesday at home would certainly help.
Texas A&M’s loss to Arkansas on Tuesday did not harm its seeding. The Aggies remained a No. 2 seed in the West Region after losing to Arkansas and beating Iowa State last week. The latest projection puts Texas A&M in Oklahoma City for a matchup with Stephen F. Austin and a potential Round of 32 matchup against Texas or Gonzaga looming.
Kentucky fell one spot to a No. 5 seed after thumping Missouri by 34 points on Tuesday and losing to Kansas in overtime on Saturday. The Wildcats were placed in the Midwest Region with a matchup against either UCLA or Syracuse in Providence, R.I.
Florida moved up to a No. 8 seed in the East Region after falling to Vanderbilt on the road and knocking off No. 9-ranked West Virginia at home last week. The Gators put together one of their most impressive performances of the season against the Mountaineers and proved they are a legitimate NCAA tournament team on Saturday. Florida would face VCU in Raleigh, N.C., and would play a de facto road game against North Carolina in the Round of 32.
Despite winning both of its games last week, South Carolina fell to a No. 9 seed in Lunardi’s field. The Gamecocks were placed in the West Region against Colorado in Brooklyn N.Y. A win over the Buffaloes would earn South Carolina a meeting with the top-seeded Villanova Wildcats.
LSU came just short of a monumental upset against No. 1 Oklahoma on Saturday. But that loss didn’t hurt its tournament standing. In fact, the Tigers actually moved off the bubble a bit and earned a No. 10 seed in Lunardi’s field. The Tigers were placed in Raleigh for a South Region matchup with Utah. A clean week against conference bottom feeders Auburn and Mississippi State could get LSU off of the bubble entirely.