SEC Basketball: How the Top 5 Teams in the SEC Rank
Although the SEC isn't outstanding as a whole this year, the teams at the top of the conference all have potential to make a deep run in the tournament.
No. 1 Kentucky has been nearly perfect this season and has maintained the top spot in the country for the third week in a row.
The No. 7 Florida Gators have been on a tear lately, having won their past seven games.
Vanderbilt, Mississippi State and Arkansas all have competitive squads as well and have proven to show they belong amongst the SEC's best.
With both divisions combined this year and SEC play already half-over, the top of the conference is beginning to take shape.
This is how the top teams of the SEC rank.
No. 5: Arkansas Razorbacks
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The Arkansas Razorbacks (16-7, 4-4) have been perfect this year at home, with a 16-0 record in Bud Walton Arena.
Some of their impressive home wins have been against Vanderbilt this past week, No. 19 Michigan and No. 16 Mississippi State.
Their attacking style defense (averaging the most steals-per-game in the SEC at nine) and the noise coming from their home fans make Arkansas a tough game for any visitor.
However, the Razorbacks must learn how to win on the road before they can be considered amongst the SEC's elite.
No. 4: Mississippi State Bulldogs
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The No. 20 Mississippi State Bulldogs (18-5, 5-3) have been impressive this season, especially in conference play.
They have one of the best forwards in the SEC in Arnett Moultrie, who leads the conference in rebounds per game at 11.1 as well as averaging 17 points per game, the fourth most in the conference.
The Bulldogs are perfect at home in conference play; however, they have dropped all but one road SEC game this season.
Also, other than their overtime win at Vanderbilt and two early-season wins against top-20 opponents, State does not have a signature win this season.
Other than facing Kentucky on Feb. 21, the Bulldogs schedule is favorable, and they too need to start winning road games in order to climb the ranks of the SEC.
No. 3 Vanderbilt Commodores
John Jenkins is the top scorer in the SEC.
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The Vanderbilt Commodores (16-7, 5-3) are the most experienced squad of the conference, consisting of six seniors on the roster.
The best shooter in the SEC wears No. 23 for the Commodores.
Junior John Jenkins averages 19.7 points per game, the best in the conference, and has made 85 three-pointers this season, the most in the entire NCAA.
Jeffrey Taylor is the No. 2 scorer (17.7 PPG) in the conference and has the second best three-point shooting percentage in the SEC at 47.1. The big man, Festus Ezeli, completes the Big Three for Vanderbilt.
Before losing to Arkansas and Florida on the road this past week, Vandy had won 10 of its previous 11 games, including a road domination against No. 13 Marquette.
Vanderbilt is 0-3 in overtime games this season (Louisville, Xavier and Mississippi State) and has had trouble on the road so far this season.
The "Dores struggle with the press, but can get hot quickly because they possess so many weapons from their Big Three.
Vandy still has to play Kentucky twice; we will see what the team is truly made of in the coming weeks.
No. 2: Florida Gators
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The Florida Gators (19-4, 7-1) are on a tear, having won seven straight games and 14 of their last 16 games.
Two of their three non-conference losses were at No. 2 Syracuse and at No. 3 Ohio State.
The Gators are led by Kenny Boynton, who averages 17.6 points per game, third best in the SEC. The guard-studded Gators have speed and agility not only in their starting lineup, but also on their bench.
Erving Walker leads the conference in assists per game and has provided the senior leadership for this squad.
Their strong defensive intensity, along with their attacking offense, creates a strong formula to compete for the conference title.
Florida takes on Kentucky tonight in the battle of the SEC's best teams, and we will see who can step up to guard the freak better known as Anthony Davis.
No. 1: Kentucky Wildcats
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The No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats (23-1, 9-0) are undoubtedly the best team in the conference, as well as in the entire NCAA.
Other than their buzzer-beater loss to Indiana back on Dec. 10 of last year, Kentucky has not lost a game this season.
The Wildcats have the best freshman in the country in Anthony Davis, who leads the SEC in shooting percentage at 66.3 and in blocks per game at 4.8. His presence down low is dominant and unmatchable to this point.
Fellow freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and sophomore Deron Lamb add support to the program. Lamb has the best three-point shooting percentage in the SEC, and Kidd-Gilchrist has averaged 12.6 points per game.
The Wildcats still have to face Vanderbilt twice, Florida twice and Mississippi State once. If they win all of these games, there is no doubt in my mind they will win the National Championship.