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Matt Norlander

Bubble Breakdown: SEC

The Dagger

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Selection Sunday is less than three weeks away, so we're going to take a conference-by-conference look at the bubble picture this week. We'll do two conferences a day from Monday until Friday, starting with this assessment of the SEC:

Tourney-bound: Kentucky (26-1), Vanderbilt (20-6), Tennessee (20-6)

They've got work to do: Florida, Mississippi State, Ole Miss

Florida (19-8, 8-4, RPI: 54)

• Marquee wins: Florida State, Michigan State

• Bad losses: Southern Alabama, at South Carolina

• Remaining schedule: Tennessee, at Georgia; Vandy; at Kentucky

• Outlook: The Gators are solidly in the field as of now because of a few 3-pointers that Chandler Parsons bailed this team out with. If Parsons doesn't connect on this or this, Florida's a 17-10 team that makes the SEC look weaker than it already is. Gators have to finish the regular season 2-2 and win an SEC tourney game.

Mississippi State (19-8, 7-5, RPI: 65)

• Marquee wins: Ole Miss (twice)

• Bad losses: Rider, at Western Kentucky, at Alabama

• Remaining schedule: Alabama, at South Carolina, at Auburn, Tennessee

• Outlook: The Bulldogs have a fairly easy schedule coming down the stretch. I actually have them as team No. 65 right now. They'll have to go 3-1 to continue to tread water.

Mississippi (17-9, 5-7, RPI: 63)

• Marquee wins: Kansas State, UTEP

• Bad losses: Arkansas, Florida

• Remaining schedule: Auburn, at Alabama, LSU, at Arkansas

• Outlook: Getting swept by their rival is pretty damaging. The boat is taking on a lot of water, as the Rebs have dropped five of their last six to plummet in the SEC West standings. You can't ask for an easier end to a schedule than what Andy Kennedy's team has staring in front of it. It's a must for these guys to win four in a row, get to 9-7 in the conference and see what the landscape looks like heading into the SEC tourney.

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