It’s been a banner year for the SEC in basketball, and the NCAA Tournament selection committee awarded seven of the conference’s 14 schools with at-large bids to the field of 68.
Kentucky earned an automatic bid with a stirring victory over Tennessee in the SEC Tournament final on Saturday.
So, with the regular season in the books, let’s take a look at the power rankings for this week:
14. Ole Miss
- Record: 12-20 overall, 5-13 SEC
- Ranking last week: 14
- Take: A forgettable season for the Rebels came to an end in the first round of the SEC Tournament with an 85-84 loss to South Carolina. Now, all eyes turn to the coaching search in Oxford.
- Record: 12-20, 6-12
- Ranking last week: 13
- Take: The Commodores bowed out of the conference tournament at the hands of Georgia. It was the worst winning percentage for the program in 40 years, but the good news is that a heralded recruiting class is on its way to Nashville.
12. South Carolina
- Record: 17-16, 7-11
- Ranking last week: 12
- Take: The Gamecocks’ rally fell just short against Arkansas in the second round of the SEC Tournament last week. The NIT passed on the Gamecocks, and their season ends at 17-16.
- Record: 18-15, 7-11
- Ranking last week: 10
- Take: The Bulldogs fell to Kentucky in the SEC Tournament on Friday, then parted ways with their coach, Mark Fox. Former Ohio State coach Thad Matta could be in line to replace him.
- Record: 17-14, 8-10
- Ranking last week: 11
- Take: LSU bowed out to Mississippi State, 80-77, Thursday night in St. Louis. Next up for the Tigers is a date with the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns in the NIT.
9. Mississippi State
- Record: 22-11, 9-9
- Ranking last week: 5
- Take: The Bulldogs had an outside chance to play their way into the NCAA Tournament but fell instead to Tennessee in the SEC Tournament in a game marred by a scary injury to Nick Weatherspoon. Like LSU, Mississippi State is heading to the NIT.
- Record: 19-15, 8-10
- Ranking last week: 9
- Take: Alabama needed a good showing in St. Louis to crack the field of 68, and with successive wins against Texas A&M and Auburn, it got just that. The Tide are a No. 9 seed and will face Virginia Tech in Pittsburgh on Thursday.
7. Texas A&M
- Record: 20-12, 9-9
- Ranking last week: 8
- Take: The Aggies were undone by Collin Sexton’s buzzer-beater in St. Louis but still earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament. They’ll face Providence on Friday in Charlotte, N.C.
- Record: 20-12, 10-8
- Ranking last week: 7
- Take: Michael Porter Jr. made his return at the SEC Tournament, but the Tigers still fell to Georgia, 62-60. Missouri is back in the NCAA Tournament, however, as a No. 8 seed. It will face Florida State on Friday in Nashville.
- Record: 23-11, 10-8
- Ranking last week: 4
- Take: The Razorbacks fell to Tennessee in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament but will play in the NCAA Tournament as a No. 7 seed against Butler in Detroit on Friday.
- Record: 20-12, 11-7
- Ranking last week: 6
- Take: Florida fell to Arkansas in its opening game in St. Louis, but the Gators still wound up on the six line for the NCAA Tournament. They’ll meet the winner of St. Bonaventure and UCLA on Thursday in Dallas.
- Record: 24-10, 10-8
- Ranking last week: 3
- Take: We want to rank the Wildcats higher after their run to the SEC Tournament championship, but we can’t forget that four-game swoon in February or those eight conference losses. Still, the Wildcats are trending way up and will face 12th-seeded Davidson in the NCAA Tournament on Thursday in Boise.
- Record: 25-7, 13-5
- Ranking last week: 1
- Take: The Tigers have started leaking a bit of oil down the stretch, having dropped four of their last six games — including a listless loss to Alabama in the SEC Tournament. Still, Auburn has its first NCAA Tournament bid since 2003 and a No. 4 seed. The Tigers will meet Charleston in San Diego on Friday.
- Record: 25-8, 13-5
- Ranking last week: 2
- Take: The Volunteers almost took down Kentucky for the third time this season in the tournament final before the Wildcats took control in the final minutes. But their impressive résumé led to a No. 3 seed. They’ll face Wright State in Dallas on Thursday.