Spotlight on the SEC: Missouri fighting for top spot
The SEC may be known for its football, but the basketball in this conference has risen to the ranks of the best in the nation.
Let’s examine the top headlines from around the SEC and break down this week's juiciest matchups.
SEC News and Notes
Alabama falls for first time in conference play
The Alabama Crimson Tide fell to the Missouri Tigers on Saturday, 68-65, for their first loss of the conference season. This leaves the Tide at 10-1 in SEC play, but marks the third time in four games Alabama has failed to reach 71 points. By contrast, the Tide failed to hit that mark only twice in the previous 16 games.
🏀 WATCH: With the game on the line, Mitchell Smith DENIED Alabama at the rim to secure one of Missouri’s biggest wins of the season over the Tide, 68-65. Fortunate enough to be on the call again for a thriller on @KCOUSports. What a game! pic.twitter.com/JVUOZ7XRCI— Harrison Vapnek (@harrisonvapnek) February 6, 2021
Freshman dominate against Kentucky
The Kentucky Wildcats are known for having the best freshman in the nation, and are no strangers to the SEC Freshman of the Week award. However, it was the Tennessee Volunteers' young guns who stood out during their recent 82-71 victory over the 'Cats.
Keon Johnson claimed SEC Freshman of the Week honors with 27 points, four rebounds, and three assists in the victory over Kentucky. Meanwhile, fellow freshman teammate Jaden Springer added 23 points and five rebounds.
It has not been the best season for Ole Miss Rebels, but they did have an excellent week. The Rebels took down both Tennessee and Auburn to move to 5-6 in SEC play. They now sit only 1.5 games back from the top four in the SEC standings and a potential double-bye in the SEC tournament.
The Missouri Tigers also had an outstanding week by thwarting late comebacks by the Kentucky Wildcats and the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Tigers now sit alone in second place in the SEC standings and have a favorable schedule to take home their first ever SEC championship.
Southeastern Conference 2020/2021
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Alabama Crimson Tide
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SEC Games Spotlight
Missouri vs. Ole Miss (Wednesday, Feb. 10)
The two top movers and hottest teams in the SEC face off this Wednesday night in Oxford, Mississippi. This matchup will also feature a matchup of the two SEC co-Players of the Week last week in Ole Miss guard Devontae Shuler and Missouri guard Dru Smith. Ole Miss has dominated this series since the Tigers joined the SEC with a 13-3 all-time record.
Tennessee vs. LSU (Saturday, Feb. 13)
The Volunteers and LSU are both sitting at 6-4 in conference play and are favored to win their Wednesday night games leading up to this Saturday matchup. The winners of this tilt could easily find themselves sitting pretty towards a double-bye in the SEC tournament.
LSU has won four of the last five matchups, averaging 79.4 points per game. The Vols' defense will have a big test in this one.
Arkansas vs. Missouri (Saturday, Feb. 13)
It is a massive week for the Missouri Tigers with two huge tests with Ole Miss and Arkansas. If the Tigers can win both games, they will just about lock up a top four position in the SEC season standings. However, the Razorbacks are trying to put a stamp on their season with a marquee victory. Currently, their best win of the season is a home victory over Ole Miss. They need to put some strength behind their record and this is their chance.