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SEC Basketball Power Rankings: Who knows, you tell us

Nearing the halfway point of the SEC basketball season, three things have become clear.

Four teams are vying to be called the best in the league. Three teams are mired in a race to the cellar that neither wants to win. Everyone else may or may not make the NCAA Tournament.

Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky and Auburn have established themselves as the top teams in the SEC this year. Each of them has a funky loss on their slate – Kentucky and Auburn most recently – but each has bounced back (Auburn hasn’t had a chance to yet) with blowouts or games in which they proved their mettle.

Arkansas finally didn’t look like a beaten horse Saturday against Kentucky, but with just one SEC win in seven games, the Razorbacks are only ahead of Missouri and Vanderbilt in the league standings. Mizzou could get off the schneid by knocking off the Hogs on Wednesday.

As for your Ole Misses, Mississsippi States, Texas A&Ms and such, well, they’re good, they’re just not great. A slew of them will end up Dancing come March, for now, they’re climbing over one another to see which can end up as that No. 5 behind the big four.

Let’s examine the power rankings this week.

1. Tennesse (LW: 3)

The Knoxville News-Sentinel
The Knoxville News-Sentinel

Tennessee has ripped off four straight wins and the Vols’ schedule doesn’t get terribly tough until the final two weeks of the season. They’ll be here a while.

 

2. Alabama (2)

Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Guess who is the top team in the SEC, record-wise? It’s the Tide who still haven’t lost to a mediocre team all year.

3. Kentucky (2)

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky bounced back from an ugly loss to South Carolina with a hard-fought win against Kentucky that made John Calipari happy, anyway. Such weeks happen. No big deal.

4. Auburn (1)

Montgomery Advertiser
Montgomery Advertiser

Back-to-back losses to Alabama and Mississippi State have sent the Tigers tumbling. They’re good, still, of course, but not No. 1 right now.

5. South Carolina (10)

Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

South Carolina is a legitimately good team, it appears. At 5-2 in SEC play, the Gamecocks are threatening to make it a Big Five in the SEC.

6. Ole Miss

Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Wins over Arkansas and Texas A&M have solidified Ole Miss’ NCAA Tournament hopes. The turnaround has been wild year over year.

7. Mississippi State (5)

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Mississippi State beat Auburn but moved down? Such is life in the SEC. The Bulldogs are still the definition of that mid-pack in the league.

8. Texas A&M (8)

Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports
Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

At some point Texas A&M is going to turn it on, right? The Aggies are way too talented to be languishing with a sub-.500 record in the league.

9. Florida (9)

Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

We had the Gators going to the Dance last week. They’ve since won two more. They haven’t moved up yet, but it’s not their fault.

10. Georgia (7)

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia takes quite the tumble this week and it’s a bit unfair. The Bulldogs beat LSU by two and lost to Florida by four but didn’t stand pat.

11. LSU (11)

Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports
Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe the biggest ‘good’ surprise of the year. The Tigers aren’t a good team, per se, but they’re miles ahead of where most figured entering the season.

12. Arkansas (12)

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The bad surprise of the SEC is the Razorbacks. Arkansas’ 1-6 start has all but finished its chances for the NCAA Tournament already. Bad stuff from a preseason Top-25 team.

13. Missouri (13)

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Missouri is just 1-6 in SEC play, too, but the Tigers are rarely blown out, either. They take on Arkansas on Wednesday at home with a chance to make it two victories.

14. Vanderbilt (14)

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Vanderbilt has five wins, period, not five SEC wins. None of those wins have come against power-conference teams.

Story originally appeared on Razorbacks Wire