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March Madness Update: Six SEC Teams Ticketed for NCAAs

Kentucky came into the season as the SEC team with the top odds of winning March Madness. However, with either five or six regular-season games left, it is Alabama and Tennessee fighting it out for the top spot in the SEC standings.

With three SEC teams in the top 10 in the NCAA NET rankings and Kentucky close to rejoining the top 20, the SEC could be well represented when the NCAA Tournament field is announced.

March Madness Update: Six SEC Teams Ticketed for NCAAs
K.D. Johnson #0 of the Auburn Tigers | Michael Chang/Getty Images/AFP

Each of the six SEC teams with winning conference records are also ranked in the Top 25 in the latest Associated Press poll. Those are the teams to keep an eye on when it comes to the March Madness projections.

When looking at the college basketball futures odds, Tennessee leads the SEC with +1200 championship odds followed by Auburn at +1800, Alabama at +2000 and Kentucky at +2500.

Here’s a look at the NCAA Tournament hopes for the SEC teams with just three weeks to go in the regular season.


Big Dance Bound

Alabama is fifth, Tennessee is sixth and Auburn is seventh in the NCAA NET rankings so all three of those teams will be a part of the March Madness field. Can any of them earn a No. 1 seed?

No. 1 UConn’s loss to Creighton could certainly help as the defending national champions were fourth in the latest NCAA NET rankings going into that game.

The top four teams in the NCAA NET rankings were a combined 34-11 in Quad 1 games as of Monday’s games while the SEC’s Crimson Tide, Volunteers and Tigers are 2-6, 5-5 and 2-5 in Quad 1 contests. Auburn’s 13 games against either Quad 3 or Quad 4 teams won’t help the Tigers’ quest to be a No. 1 seed.

Alabama is on the verge of tying Kentucky’s SEC record for the most 100-point games in a season.

Kentucky has some work to do to be among the top 16 seeds in the March Madness bracket. A non-conference win over North Carolina will be rather helpful. However, Miami’s disappointing season makes the Wildcats’ 22-point win over the Hurricanes in November lose some of its luster.

Florida is very quietly sitting at No. 28 in the NCAA NET rankings despite a 3-7 record in Quad 1 games.

South Carolina has one of the hardest resumes to figure out. The Gamecocks were as high as No. 11 in the national polls before dropping back-to-back games. Sitting at No. 59 in the NCAA NET rankings is certainly dangerous territory. However, a 9-4 record in the SEC and two wins over ranked foes should help the cause for the Gamecocks.


On the Bubble

Mississippi State is at No. 38 in the NCAA NET rankings and that is very much in the “on the bubble” territory. The Bulldogs have games remaining against ranked Kentucky, Auburn and South Carolina teams.

Texas A&M has lost three games in a row and, despite a 6-5 record in Quad 1 contests, the Aggies are just 45th in the NCAA NET rankings. Four Quad 3 losses is a major red flag, as is a 6-7 record in SEC play. It doesn’t get much easier as the next two games for Texas A&M are against Tennessee and South Carolina. The final two games of the regular season are against Mississippi State and Ole Miss and those are feeling like must-win affairs.

Fourteen of the 19 wins for Ole Miss have come against Quad 3 or Quad 4 teams and that sounds more like a team set to be on the outside looking in when the March Madness bracket is announced. An 0-5 record versus ranked foes is not ideal.


Wait ‘Til Next Year

LSU does have a pair of wins over top 25 teams but a 13-12 overall record and 5-7 record in the SEC puts the Tigers in the position of needing to win the SEC tournament to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

When does football season start for Georgia? The Bulldogs are struggling to remain in the top 100 in the NCAA NET rankings. A 3-10 record versus Quad 1 and Quad 2 foes is not great.

With the top three scorers from last year’s Arkansas team in the NBA, it is not too surprising to see the Razorbacks sinking in the March Madness odds.

Vanderbilt is 0-10 in Quad 1 games while Missouri has yet to win a conference game so the end of the season is quickly approaching for both teams.



Questions Of The Day

Which SEC teams have the best record against the spread against ranked teams this season?

Kentucky is 4-1 against the spread when facing teams in the Top 25 in the national polls this season while South Carolina has covered in three of its four games versus ranked teams.

Which SEC team has the best odds to win March Madness?

Tennessee leads the way at +1200 in the college basketball championship odds. Auburn (+1800), and Alabama (+2000) aren’t far behind while Kentucky’s odds to win the national title have gone from +1400 to +2500 since the start of the season.

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