Saturday, February 23, 2013
How many SEC teams will dance?
By Nic Reiner
It's no secret the 2013 SEC is weaker than expected - only Florida and Missouri are consistently projected by bracketologists to make the NCAA tournament. However, at the moment, three other SEC teams sit squarely on the bubble. In Joe Lunardi's latest version of Bracketology, Kentucky is the first team left out while Alabama and Arkansas are two of the last eight projected to fall short.
It's highly unlikely the SEC sneaks all three (or even two) of these squads in, given none of them can afford any more slip-ups, either in the last two weeks of the regular season or in the conference tournament. Still, one more at-large berth might not be too much to ask for.
Kentucky has the best chance at being the third SEC team to join the Gators and Tigers in the Big Dance but their situation is also toughest to assess because we're still learning about how the Wildcats can fare sans Nerlens Noel. John Calipari's team hosts Missouri today in what will be an excellent temperature-taking opportunity and a great chance at bolstering their résumé. Kentucky also hosts Florida in the last game of the regular season.
The Crimson Tide have an OK shot at sneaking in. Anthony Grant's team goes to Florida and fading Mississippi but could sneak in by winning four of five and making a dent in the conference tournament. Arkansas's chances are slim, in part because they travel to Florida and Missouri and host Kentucky.