Texas A&M has lost its position atop the SEC power rankings.
The Aggies once appeared as top team in the conference by a mile, but they are reeling after consecutive losses to Vanderbilt and South Carolina last week. Texas A&M has lost three of its last four games after starting conference play at 7-0.
There is a new team on top of the SEC this week as the regular season nears the homestretch.
1. LSU (15-8, 8-2)
Last week’s ranking: 5
Last week’s results: Beat Auburn 80-68, beat Mississippi State 88-77
The Tigers were able to beat the teams they were supposed to beat last week and that was good enough to ascend to the No. 1 spot. LSU is playing the best and most consistent basketball in the conference and has won four consecutive conference games. A difficult week lies ahead, however. LSU will travel to South Carolina on Wednesday before hosting Texas A&M on Saturday.
2. Texas A&M (18-5, 7-3)
Last week’s ranking: 1
Last week’s results: Lost to Vanderbilt 77-60, lost to South Carolina 81-78
The Aggies aren’t on top, but they didn’t fall too far down the list. Texas A&M lost its first game at home this season against the Gamecocks and now has two road games this week against Alabama and LSU. The winner of Saturday’s showdown between the Tigers and Aggies may control their destiny to the top seed in the SEC Tournament.
3. South Carolina (20-3, 7-3)
Last week’s ranking: 4
Last week’s results: Lost to Georgia 69-56, beat Texas A&M 81-78
South Carolina played a poor game last Tuesday against the Bulldogs, but made up for it with an impressive road victory against the Aggies. The Gamecocks still don’t get much national respect and fell out of the Associated Press Top 25 rankings this week. Two home games against LSU and Kentucky this week could change that perception quickly.
4. Kentucky (17-6, 7-3)
Last week’s ranking: 2
Last week’s results: Lost to Tennessee 84-77, beat Florida 80-61
The Wildcats let a 21-point lead disappear against Tennessee last Tuesday and a victory over Florida on Saturday wasn’t enough to prevent them from falling in the rankings. Inconsistency could doom Kentucky down the stretch.
5. Florida (15-8, 6-4)
Last week’s ranking: 3
Last week’s results: Beat Arkansas 87-83, lost to Kentucky 80-61
Florida is a good team that has rarely shown qualities of a great team. The Gators didn’t compete against Kentucky last week, but are still safely inside the NCAA Tournament picture. The good news is Florida will play two home games this week against Ole Miss and Alabama. The Gators have won six straight contests at the O’Connell Center.
6. Georgia (13-8, 6-4)
Last week’s ranking: 8
Last week’s results: Beat South Carolina 69-56, beat Auburn 65-55
It was a good week for the Bulldogs, but they are still pretty far on the outside of the tournament landscape. UGA is 4-2 since losing by 34 points at home to Texas A&M, and hasn’t lost by more than 10 points since that drubbing. A win on the road against Kentucky could get UGA into the tournament discussion.
7. Vanderbilt (13-10, 5-5)
Last week’s ranking: 7
Last week’s results: Beat Texas A&M 77-60, lost to Ole Miss 85-78
It was a good week for Vandy, but it was far from a great week. The Commodores scored a signature victory against the Aggies, but followed that up with a bad loss against Ole Miss. The bubble hasn’t popped on Vanderbilt yet, but a loss to either Missouri or Auburn this week may spoil any NCAA Tournament hopes.
8. Ole Miss (15-8, 5-5)
Last week’s ranking: 10
Last week’s results: Beat Missouri 76-73, beat Vanderbilt 85-78
A road win is always good in conference play even though it was against lowly Missouri. Don’t look now, but the Rebels have won three consecutive conference games after losing four straight by single digits in January. Ole Miss has a couple of opportunities to at least get into the NCAA tournament conversation against Florida and Arkansas this week.
9. Arkansas (12-11, 5-5)
Last week’s ranking: 6
Last week’s results: Lost to Florida 87-83, beat Tennessee 85-67
The Razorbacks probably won’t be in the mix for a postseason bid, but they are still relatively competitive. Arkansas will play two games in Mississippi this week as they face Mississippi State on Tuesday and Ole Miss on Saturday.
10. Alabama (13-9, 4-6)
Last week’s ranking: 11
Last week’s results: Beat Mississippi State 82-80 in OT, beat Missouri 80-71
The Crimson Tide proved they are growing with two victories over conference bottom feeders. Alabama could play its way into a postseason tournament with a strong finish.
11. Tennessee (11-12, 4-6)
Last week’s ranking: 13
Last week’s results: Beat Kentucky 84-77, lost to Arkansas 85-67
The Volunteers followed up a loss to TCU with a win over Kentucky. Go figure: Rick Barnes’ squad can compete at home, but is completely hapless away from its own building.
12. Mississippi State (9-13, 2-8)
Last week’s ranking: 9
Last week’s results: Lost to Alabama 82-80 in OT, lost to LSU 88-77
It was back to reality for the Bulldogs after winning two out of three heading into last week. The only good news for Mississippi State is its next three games are at home.
13. Auburn (9-13, 3-7)
Last week’s ranking: 12
Last week’s results: Lost to LSU 80-68, lost to UGA 65-55
The Tigers are on a five-game losing streak and have been mostly noncompetitive in all of those games. Each of Auburn’s five losses have come by at least 10 points.
14. Missouri (8-15, 1-9)
Last week’s ranking: 14
Last week’s results: Lost to Ole Miss 76-73, lost to Alabama 80-71
The losing skid extended to eight games after a competitive, but fruitless week for Missouri.