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Spotlight on the SEC: Ole Miss is on a roll

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February 16th, 2021

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 ascends to the SEC's top spot

The Crimson Tide got their offensive groove back this past week, putting up 81 points against South Carolina and 115 points against Georgia. These two wins vaulted Alabama to 12-1 in SEC play and up to No. 8 in the most recent AP poll.

Alabama now has a three game lead in the SEC with only five games remaining. They can clinch the SEC regular season title this week with wins over both Texas A&M and Vanderbilt and a loss by Arkansas.

SEC projected to grab six NCAA tourney bids

In the latest Bracketology from ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, the SEC is projected to receive six bids for the 2021 NCAA Tournament. Alabama (2), Tennessee (3), Missouri (5), Florida (7), Arkansas (9), and LSU (10) are sitting in comfortable positions. Ole Miss is sitting on the bubble, but is moving in the right direction.

The SEC tournament could secure another bid, if the Kentucky Wildcats get back on track in time for another March run.

How many NCAA Tournament bids will the SEC secure?

Top Movers

The LSU Tigers got two massive wins to boost their postseason hopes this past week. They took down Mississippi State and Tennessee to improve to 8-4 in SEC play and move into a tie for second place.

Guard Javonte Smart took home SEC Player of the Week after averaging 21.0 points, 6.5 assists, and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 69% from the field in LSU's two wins. Guard Cameron Thomas also took home SEC Freshman of the Week honors after averaging 25.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 3.5 assists.

The Ole Miss Rebels won two more games this week after taking down Missouri and South Carolina, making it four consecutive wins for the Rebels. Ole Miss now sits at 7-6 in SEC play, and is back in play for a possible tourney bid.

Southeastern Conference 2020/2021

Sun, March 7 2021, 12:00 AM

Alabama Crimson Tide

+225

Tennessee Volunteers

+300

Missouri Tigers

+325

LSU Tigers

+375

Florida Gators

+630

Arkansas Razorbacks

+2000

Kentucky Wildcats

+4000

Ole Miss Rebels

+7000

Mississippi State Bulldogs

+8000

South Carolina Gamecocks

+15000

SEC Games Spotlight

Florida vs. Arkansas (Tuesday, Feb. 16)

The Gators have not played a game since Feb. 3 due to contact tracing and quarantine requirements. Arkansas has not lost an SEC game since Jan. 16 against Alabama. This will be a tough comeback to basketball for Florida, but they will need to be ready as this game has massive postseason implications.

Both teams are tied for second in the SEC, but only one game ahead of the fifth place team. The loser of this game could find themselves out of the top four of the SEC and back in bubble conversation for March Madness.

LSU vs. Ole Miss (Wednesday, Feb. 17)

This is a pivotal game for both teams on the bubble. They are also two of the hottest teams in the SEC and are fighting hard to get that coveted double-bye in the SEC tournament.

LSU took down Ole Miss on the road on Jan. 9 by a score of 75-61. However, the Rebels are a different team now and they will be much tougher. This game was scheduled late because of postponements earlier in the season, and will be a rare second home game in a season series for the Rebels.

Kentucky vs. Tennessee (Saturday, Feb. 20)

Kentucky finally closed out a close game against Auburn last Saturday to get a much-needed win to boost their confidence. Meanwhile, the Volunteers are coming off a rough loss at LSU last Saturday.

Kentucky will be looking for revenge after blowing a lead on Feb. 6, where they were outscored 34-13 in the final 12 minutes. Tennessee will need to secure this win to try to maintain a strong resume ahead of the tournament.

SEC basketball betting trends

  • Vanderbilt is 6-1-1 ATS after a loss, Mississippi State is 7-3 ATS after a loss
  • Auburn is 8-2-1 ATS following a win, Texas A&M is 1-6 ATS after a win
  • Alabama is 8-3 ATS at home, Kentucky is 2-5-1 ATS on the road
  • Kentucky is 3-8 ATS as a favorite, Texas A&M is 1-6 ATS as an underdog
  • The Under is 15-5 in Ole Miss games and 11-4 in Texas A&M games
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