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5 NCAA Basketball Teams That Could Surprise the SEC Next Season

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5 NCAA Basketball Teams That Could Surprise the SEC Next Season

Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

The SEC seems to already be down to two teams that are predicted to win the regular season title — the Kentucky Wildcats and the Florida Gators. The only team that is expected to come in and challenge both of these teams at the top is the Tennessee Volunteers. Besides these three teams, most people aren’t talking about teams in the SEC that can sneak up and take the top of the SEC away from Kentucky.

Last season was crazy. Kentucky was terrible without Nerlens Noel, Florida still can’t beat Tennessee under Cuonzo Martin and the Ole Miss Rebels proved that one half-insane sharpshooter can single-handedly win the SEC tournament. All the SEC teams seemed average; the Gators were the only team that looked like a threat for the national title. However, the SEC will be far more open and more talented than it has been in a long time next season.

There are 10 teams in the SEC that are capable of pushing for a spot in the NCAA tournament and are capable of winning the conference. The only teams incapable of winning the SEC are the South Carolina Gamecocks, the Georgia Bulldogs, the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the Arkansas Razorbacks. Every other team has both the talent and the experience to make at least a small push against the best teams in the conference, which means that the SEC will be one of the most contested and hard-fought leagues in the entire country.

Here is a list of 5 teams that can pull off major upsets in the SEC next season.

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No. 5 Auburn Tigers

Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

Auburn has a really young and talented team. Last season, they played most of their seniors, but this season they will be playing their best players. Expect the Tigers to win some games that many don’t think they will win – like against Kentucky.

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No. 4 Ole Miss Rebels

Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports

The Rebels’ season hinges on Marshall Henderson and his performance in big games. Good thing Ole Miss will also have a talented cast of returners to help him out. Don’t be surprised if the Rebels go back to the NCAA tournament.

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No. 3 Vanderbilt Commodores

Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports

Vanderbilt ended their season strongly with a tough win against Kentucky in the SEC tournament and had a much better season than many would expect. They lost all their starters players at the end of the 2011-2012 season, but will return all starters next season. Expect the Commodores to win a lot of games they aren't expected to win.

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No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide

Crimson Tide
Kelly Lambert-USA TODAY Sports

The Crimson Tide are returning a lot of talented starters. Trevor Lacey is gone, but fortunately Trevor Releford didn’t go to the NBA. Alabama has everything needed to make it to the NCAA tournament and succeed in the SEC.

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No. 1 LSU Tigers

Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Not only have the Tigers brought in five-star recruit Jarrell Martin, they have Johnny O’Bryant III returning. LSU will be one of the best teams in the country at the post game. If any team comes out of nowhere to win the SEC, it would be this Tigers team.