Four SEC teams have been around the NCAA bubble the past few weeks. The Kentucky Wildcats, the Ole Miss Rebels, the Tennessee Volunteers, and the Alabama Crimson Tide all had opportunities to begin to seal their place in the big dance in the last week of the season; all four of these teams failed.
Kentucky started off the season ranked No. 3 in the country and has collapsed since then, being among the “last four in” in most predictions. Saturday, the Wildcats lost to the Arkansas Razorbacks and should be predicted as out of the tournament.
Alabama lost a hard fought game to the Florida Gators. Of the SEC teams considered on the bubble, the Crimson Tide have the best chance to still make it.
Ole Miss has collapsed faster than any team in the entire country. After dominating during the beginning of the start of SEC play, the Rebels have lost to some of the worst teams in the SEC including South Carolina and, on Saturday, the team last place in the SEC, Mississippi State. This loss will basically end the Rebels hopes of making the tournament.
Tennessee came out of nowhere in a six game winning streak, including a win over No. 8 Florida, but lost to the less than .500 Georgia Bulldogs. The Volunteers play Missouri on March 9th, but even with a win it looks like the Volunteers will end the season the same way as last year – in the NIT.
Saturday destroyed the SEC’s chances of having several teams in the NCAA tournament. The “on the bubble” SEC teams looked lackadaisical in crucial games, and that is not the type of mentality to have in must-win games. For the first time in a long time, the SEC may only have two NCAA tournament representatives, Missouri and Florida.