Football is officially over and Bracketology season is heating up. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has five SEC squads inside his latest projections for the NCAA Tournament.
Texas A&M, Kentucky, South Carolina, LSU and Florida all remained in Lunardi’s field this week. Vanderbilt was placed just outside of the field of 68 and was listed as the first team out of the tournament.
The slumping Aggies fell one spot to a No. 3 seed after suffering their second loss in a row last weekend to South Carolina. Texas A&M was placed in the Midwest Region with a pending matchup against Belmont in Oklahoma City, Okla. The Aggies have lost three of their last four games, but can still climb up to a No. 2 or No. 1 seed with a strong finish.
Kentucky moved up in Lunardi’s latest projections despite collapsing on the road against Tennessee last Tuesday. The Wildcats received a No. 4 seed in the South Region following a 1-1 week that featured a 19-point win over Florida on Saturday. Kentucky would face No. 13 seed Chattanooga in Denver.
South Carolina also moved up within the field after splitting a pair of games last week. The Gamecocks earned a No. 7 seed in the West Region with a matchup against No. 10 Valparaiso in Des Moines, Iowa. South Carolina fell to UGA on the road last Tuesday, but made up for it with an emphatic road victory over Texas A&M.
LSU might be on top of the SEC standings, but it was only granted a No. 10 seed in the South Region in Lunardi’s projections. The Tigers would would face No. 7 Wichita State in St. Louis.
Wrapping up the field for the SEC was Florida, which received a No. 7 seed from Lunardi. The Gators were placed in the East Region and would face Washington in Brooklyn, N.Y. The Gators staved off Arkansas at home before being drubbed on the road against Kentucky last week.
Vanderbilt is on the cusp of entering the tournament field, but still has a lot of work to do. The Commodores boosted their resume with a 17-point win over Texas A&M, but followed that up with a seven-point loss to Ole Miss on the road. Consistency will be the key for the Commodores and they have a great opportunity with three upcoming games against SEC bottom feeders.
Another SEC team appeared on the bubble in Lunardi’s newest field: UGA, who appeared as the final team on Lunardi’s “Next Four Out” list. The Bulldogs are quietly playing better basketball and picked up two wins against South Carolina and Auburn last week. UGA doesn’t have much room for error, but could certainly make a statement with a road win against Kentucky on Tuesday.