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College Basketball: Week 5 SEC Power Rankings

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College Basketball: Week 5 SEC Power Rankings

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Week 5 of the 2013–14 college basketball season has begun, and many teams are looking to finally get the marquee wins that will throw them into the 2014 NCAA Tournament discussion. The SEC is no different than the rest of the country with a majority of the conference’s teams having winning record and still believing that they can make it to the NCAA Tournament.

Ten total SEC teams have only two losses or less. The biggest surprise so far is the 5–1 Mississippi State Bulldogs, who were picked to finish 13th in the SEC by the preseason media poll, and the biggest disappointment is the 5–2 Texas A&M Aggies who have one of the easiest non-conference schedules in the entire country and lost to both the Missouri State Bears and Southern Methodist Mustangs.

As every SEC team draws nearer to eight or nine games in non-conference play so far, each win becomes more crucial. The SEC is going to be extremely competitive this year with about ten teams capable of competing in every game, so non-conference wins are necessary to make it to the 2014 NCAA Tournament.

With the current records that many SEC teams have in non-conference schedules – assuming that they don’t collapse in SEC play – the five best teams at the end of the year in the conference are likely to make it to the 2014 NCAA Tournament. The top 5 teams in the SEC haven’t changed much since the start of the season, but a few upsets and two undefeated teams have shaken things up on the way to week 5. Here are the week 5 SEC College Basketball power rankings.

Taylor Sturm is an SEC Basketball Writer for Follow him on Twitter @TSturmRS or add him to your network on Google.

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5. Tennessee Volunteers

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Tennessee has been a tale of two teams so far this season. There is the team that can’t go more than 30 percent from the field and loses to the UTEP Miners and Xavier Musketeers, and there's the team that destroyed Xavier, Wake Forest in the Battle 4 Atlantis.

At times Tennessee looks like one of the best in the SEC, but other times they don’t look like a 2014 NCAA tournament ready team. If their two game blowout winning streak is any indication of the future, however, the Volunteers may finally be turning into the team we expected them to be in preseason.

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4. Ole Miss Rebels

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The Rebels are 6–0 and flying high between the unexpected elite play of Derrick Millinghaus and Jarvis Summers. Their shot selection and defense can be a little shaky at times, but behind the offensive firepower of Millinghaus, Summers and Marshall Henderson, anything is possible.

In two games Ole Miss takes on the No. 13 Oregon Ducks in a game that will see two undefeated teams face off. If the Rebels can pull off this upset, expect them to jump into the top 25 and probably go undefeated until SEC play.

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3. Florida Gators

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With Scottie Wilbekin back and playing minutes for the No. 15 Florida Gators, Billy Donovan’s squad looks a million times better. Florida would be ranked higher if it wasn’t due to a last second Shabazz Napier buzzer beater to give UConn the 65–64 win. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how well your team plays; you just can’t stop the heroics from one of the best players in the country. Florida will look to bounce back against the No. 6 Kansas Jayhawks.

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2. Missouri Tigers

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

A 7-0 record looks good on paper, but when you look at Missouri’s opponents so far this season it’s not very impressive. What is impressive, however, is that two players, Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson, are averaging nearly 20 points a game.

Their next game is December 7 against the No. 18 UCLA Bruins at home. A win against Steve Alford’s team would vault Missouri into the top 25 and show that their win streak isn’t just a fluke due to a weak schedule.

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1. Kentucky Wildcats

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky suffered a tough early loss to the Michigan State Spartans but continues to roll over everyone else. Julius Randle has been the elite player he was expected to be, but he has turnover issues. If he can fix those Kentucky will be unstoppable. Kentucky plays No. 18 Baylor on December 6.