Tag:SEC West
Posted on: February 15, 2010 6:46 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2010 6:47 pm

SEC Big Dance Assessment

RBISPORTS - Last year the SEC got three teams into the Big Dance.  It was one of the biggest disappointing SEC seasons in my lifetime.  Consequently, as a result of last year’s dismal showing, the question a SEC fan has to ask them self is, “how many teams will the SEC send to the Dance this year?”

The SEC is making a better showing thus far if only based on poll comparison to last season. The only top 25 team at this point last season was LSU but this year the SEC has three.  The Kentucky Wildcats are currently ranked #2 in the nation and joining them in the top 25 are Vanderbilt (17) and Tennessee (20).  Interestingly enough they are all from the SEC East.

Tennessee has been ranked all season long but their stock has fallen like the economy and Vanderbilt has been a team that garners little respect outside of the SEC because of their strange losses to the likes of Western Kentucky, Georgia, and Cincinnati.  Kentucky is the only team that has lived up to the hype and yet most pollsters see them climbing up to the top on the heels of losses by Big East Teams.  It seems if some of the pollsters had their way every team in the Big East would be rated in the top 25.  I know the Big East is good but perhaps the Big East as a whole is the basketball media’s version of the Obama crush.

What makes figuring how many teams the SEC will get in the Big Dance is the absolute failure of the SEC West to have some standout team.  In fact outside the State of Mississippi, the SEC has no one to boast from the SEC West.  Mississippi (17-7) and Mississippi State (18-7) are the two best teams and Mississippi is (6-4) in the conference is tied for the West with Arkansas (13-12) which to make matters worse is barely a .500 team so how are the teams from Mississippi and for that matter the SEC? The only other team with a shot right now is Florida (17-8).  Aside from those mentioned no other team has an RPI in the top 65.

I would suspect that most SEC fans feel they deserve at a minimum six teams from the SEC to be represented in the field of 64.  In all likelihood I suspect they will get six but no more.  The SEC also needs to hope there are no surprises in the conference tournament championship. Of course one has to think that has a good chance of happening. South Carolina is one of those SEC teams that can come out of nowhere.  Right now I see Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Tennessee and assured of a spot.  Mississippi is almost certain to get an invite but they need to win the West.  Mississippi State will need to finish above Arkansas. Florida is the bubble team. The loss to Xavier really did not serve them well.  Gators, you need a strong finish,

Posted on: January 27, 2010 9:52 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2010 7:12 pm

Vanderbilt Improves to 5-0.


Vanderbilt Improves to 5-0. Best Start since 1964-65.

Vanderbilt's men's basketball team looks like a team capable of an SEC Championship.  This is the 40th anniversary of Commodore squad that captured the South Eastern Conference Championship and right now they look like a team on a mission.

Tonight the #21 team in the nation, the Commodores handled 14th ranked Tennessee in Thompson Boling Arena in a game televised on ESPNU 76 – 68 and the game marked the best start for a Vanderbilt team since the 1964-65 season.  Coach Stallings certainly was well pleased and his post game comments about the team’s effort tonight certainly reflected his pleasure.  Stallings, “Well played game by the entire team…might be the only team that can come in here and win.”  With the win and Kentucky’s loss to South Carolina, Vanderbilt leads in the SEC East, 5-0.

Vanderbilt came in here having lost three previous times, twice last year by more than double digits and showed that this time they were physically ready.  In a game that was rough, Vandy played with poise and determination.  Every time Tennessee tried to get something started Vandy had an answer.  Vandy shot over 50 percent for the game and Tennessee previously had been holding opponents to around 38 percent.

Vandy leaves the victor in a very impressive road victory in a very difficult place to win and now goes to play a Kentucky Wildcat team on the road.  No doubt Kentucky will want to show that they are still the Top Cats in the SEC.  Meanwhile Vandy is way out in front of where anyone thought they would be at this point of the season.  Vandy improves to 16-3.

Vanderbilt’s Jermaine Beal led all Commodores with 25 points. Vandy had five players in double figures.  Olgilvy had 12, Taylor, Tinsley and Jenkins had 10 each.

Tennessee was led by Prince with 22, Hopson with 14 and Maze with 12.  The big surprise was how the Dores were able to hold Chism to 8 points.

Vanderbilt will now play Kentucky in a nationally televised game with a 3pm start time on Saturday and now has won 10 straight. 
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