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SEC Basketball: How Next 2 Weeks Will Prove Conference's Strength

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 11: Head coach Kevin Stallings of the Vanderbilt Commodores looks on during the game against the Oregon Ducks at Memorial Gymansium on November 11, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. Vanderbilt defeated Oregon 78-64.(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Rick GillispieCorrespondent IINovember 28, 2011

Over the next two weeks, the SEC will try proving to the country they are the best conference in the nation. I have highlighted 10 games over that span that will give you a feel of what the conference is about.

They start tonight in Nashville and end December 10.

Tonight, the Xavier Musketeers will travel to Nashville to battle Vanderbilt. Xavier comes into the game ranked 12th in the country. Vanderbilt is 5-1 on the young season and ranked 22nd.

Xavier is from the A-10 conference and has a stellar program. A win here by Vanderbilt propels them back into the top 15 and also helps the conference out.

The Georgetown Hoyas will battle Alabama on Dec 1 in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide have already proven they belong in the top 15. The Hoyas from the Big East always play tough. A win by Alabama will surely help their cause for a top 10 ranking and good seed come tournament time.

December 2 will bring us two great matchups. The Florida Gators will travel to battle Syracuse. Florida has already lost to Ohio State on the road and could use this win on the road to prove they are as good as the hype.

Vanderbilt will travel to battle the Cardinals of Louisville. Louisville is a top 10 team and would be a great road win for Vanderbilt.

December 3 could go down as a great day for the SEC. Four teams will have big games on this day. Mississippi State will host West Virginia, Tennessee will host Pittsburgh and Arkansas will travel to Connecticut.

But the big game that day will see Kentucky hosting North Carolina in a possible national championship preview. This has to be a day to stop watching football and watch some great basketball.

On December 7, the Florida Gators will host Arizona. The Wildcats are always a top team in the Pac-12. Florida needs to win this game. Losing at home is bad no matter who the team is.

Rounding out these two weeks is a classic battle. Kentucky will travel to Indiana to play the Hoosiers. I know Indiana has been down lately, but this is always a great game.

These are some big games upcoming for the SEC. With every win and loss, the conference gains or loses fans.

I will take the top four teams from the SEC and play them against anybody. It's the lower half that needs to step up and prove their worth.

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