SEC Basketball Power Rankings: Several teams keeping NCAA Tournament hopes alive

With the SEC Tournament upon us, several programs within the conference have positioned themselves to reach the NCAA Tournament while others are completely out of it.

Some of the teams that have solidified tournament bids up to this point are Alabama, Texas A&M, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri. A few outside teams looking to make some noise are Auburn, Arkansas, Vanderbilt, and Mississippi State.

Meanwhile, other programs like Ole Miss, South Carolina, Florida, LSU, and Georgia have to win the SEC Tournament to receive an automatic bid. Otherwise, their seasons are over.

Today, Roll Tide Wire breaks down the latest SEC basketball power rankings ahead of the SEC Tournament.

LSU Tigers (13-18, 2-16)

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This was not the season that fans expected in the Bayou. First-year head coach Matt McMahon was left with virtually no roster after the departure of Will Wade. He got off to a hot start to begin the season with a new roster. However, things fell apart ever since conference play began. LSU finished 2-16 in conference play. There is certainly a rebuild taking place in Baton Rouge. Barring a miraculous run in the SEC Tournament, the Tigers’ season will end in less than a week.

Ole Miss Rebels (11-20, 3-15)


The expectations surrounding the Ole Miss program were not very high heading into the regular season. The Rebels lost their leading scorer from a season ago in Jarkel Joiner. They ultimately brought back Kermit Davis as the team’s head coach, but he was fired during the course of the season. The Rebels are working to find their next head coach, so it has been a difficult season. The program finished the regular season with a 3-15 conference record.

Georgia Bulldogs (16-15, 6-12)

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Georgia began the season on the right foot in non-conference play. Bulldogs head coach Mike White brought in a number of transfers along with several key returners from a season ago. However, the Bulldogs have struggled to find wins in conference play. It has shown on the floor as the Bulldogs have dropped their last five games. Four of the five games resulted in double-digit losses. To say the least, it has been a poor finish to the season for the team in red and black.

South Carolina Gamecocks (11-20, 4-14)

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This season has been a rough one for South Carolina. First-year head coach Lamont Paris assembled a roster that looked good enough to compete in the SEC. The additions of Meechie Johnson and GG Jackson were expected to have a profound impact on how the Gamecocks season played out. That has proven to be true to an extent. As the season has progressed, the two of them have played better, and it has allowed the Gamecocks to be more competitive down the stretch. The season was not ideal in Columbia, but Paris’ squad has improved over the course of the season.

Florida Gators (16-15, 9-9)

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Florida had an interesting regular season under first-year head coach Todd Golden. The Gators began conference play with a 6-4 record with ranked wins over Missouri and Tennessee. However, the team was unable to finish down the stretch having lost five of their last eight games. A large part of that struggle came after Florida’s leader, Colin Castleton, suffered a broken arm. Nonetheless, it has been a rough finish to the regular season for the Gators. In order to reach the NCAA Tournament, Florida will have to win the SEC Tournament.

Arkansas Razorbacks (19-12, 8-10)

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Arkansas finished with the No. 2 overall recruiting class in 2022. Many college basketball insiders expected the Hogs to compete for a regular season SEC title. That became far-fetched as the season played out in Fayetteville. With lingering injuries to two of their best players (Trevon Brazile and Nick Smith Jr.), the Razorbacks could not find their footing in the conference. Eric Musselman’s squad finished the season with three straight losses and now finds themselves on the bubble heading into the SEC Tournament. In order to solidify a bid in the ‘Big Dance’, Arkansas will likely need to win at least one game in the tournament this weekend.

Mississippi State Bulldogs (20-11, 8-10)

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Mississippi State was a program that replaced its leading scorer Iverson Molinar and head coach Ben Howland in the offseason. The Bulldogs brought in several transfers to bode well with key returners DJ Jeffries and Tolu Smith. Along with that, the program also hired a proven coach in Chris Jans. The Bulldogs have made a push to reach the NCAA Tournament with ranked wins over TCU and Texas A&M. Mississippi State’s fate could come down to whether or not they can pick up a win or two in the SEC Tournament this week.

Auburn Tigers (20-11, 10-8)

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Things have not come as easy this year for Auburn as they did last year. The Tigers struggled at the beginning of the season to replace Jabari Smith Jr. and Walker Kessler. Bruce Pearl’s squad picked up some key wins against Arkansas and Tennessee. The Tigers dropped some games against less-than-stellar opponents like Georgia and West Virginia. Much like Mississippi State, it could come down to how Auburn fairs in the SEC Tournament.

Vanderbilt Commodores (18-13, 11-7)

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Vanderbilt’s head coach Jerry Stackhouse recently won Co-SEC Coach of the Year. The Commodores got off on the wrong foot to begin non-conference play. However, Vanderbilt performed well enough in conference play to give themselves a chance to reach the NCAA Tournament. The Commodores will be without their leading scorer and rebounder with Liam Robbins suffering a season-ending injury. With their backs against the wall, it could be make-or-break time for Vanderbilt in the SEC Tournament.

Missouri Tigers (23-8, 11-7)

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Missouri had an unexpected turnaround under first-year head coach Dennis Gates. The Tigers finished fourth in the conference and have solidified themselves a bid in the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers have been one of the more efficient offenses in the entire country this season. Missouri averages 80.1 points per game while averaging 47.1% shooting from the field. The Tigers will likely wind up as a six or seven-seed on Selection Sunday.

Tennessee Volunteers (22-9, 11-7)

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Tennessee seems to always have high expectations surrounding the basketball program. Vols head coach Rick Barnes has had to assemble the right lineup with several prolonged injuries plaguing the team. Key starters like Josiah Jordan-James and Zakai Zeigler have both suffered injuries that have come at the most inopportune time for the Vols. Tennessee has earned itself a bid in the ‘Big Dance’ but will not have an easy go this year unless someone steps up in the very near future.

Kentucky Wildcats (21-10, 12-6)

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Kentucky had some hefty expectations surrounding the program with National Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe returning for his senior season. The Wildcats struggled occasionally throughout conference play with players like Sahvir Wheeler and CJ Fredrick suffering timely injuries. Now, John Calipari’s squad is healthy and ready to make a postseason run. Kentucky has played their best ball down the stretch.

Texas A&M Aggies (23-8, 15-3)

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Texas A&M had some lofty expectations surrounding the program after reaching the SEC Tournament Championship game as well as the NIT Championship game. Buzz Williams’ squad struggled early on in non-conference play with unexpected losses to Murray State, Boise State, and Wofford. However, the Aggies gelled at the right time and went on to finish 15-3 in conference play. Texas A&M has the potential and roster makeup to make some noise in the postseason.

Alabama Crimson Tide (26-5, 16-2)

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Alabama surpassed many expectations this season after having lost two of its leading scorers from a season ago in Jaden Shackelford and Keon Ellis. Nate Oats’ squad put together a season to remember in Tuscaloosa. The Tide won the SEC regular season championship. A number of new faces complimented a number of key returners to help the Tide become the No. 1 seed in the SEC Tournament. If the Tide can clean up a few things, they can make a run in the NCAA Tournament. Many expect Alabama to wind up as a No. 1 seed on Selection Sunday.

Story originally appeared on Roll Tide Wire