SEC, Catholic 7, Boise and seed projections
by Nicole Auerbach and Eric Prisbell, USA TODAY Sports
Welcome, once again, to our weekly college basketball mailbag. It’s been an eventful week — full of bank shots, ridiculous dunks and some surprising upsets. But best of all, college football has ended and we can now give hoops our undivided attention.
That’s where our college basketball reporters Nicole Auerbach and Eric Prisbell come in. They’ll catch you up to speed and answer your burning questions every week. Submit questions for next week’s mailbag to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet Auerbach and Prisbell.
Let’s dive in.
@fakegimel: SEC is allegedly a 3-bid league. Which team has best chance of forcing 4th bid (not through conf. tourney)?
Auerbach: After last night? Ole Miss. The Rebs handled Tennessee easily (and I had originally thought the Vols could be a decent SEC team entering the season), and their schedule appears friendly. One game against Florida. One game against Kentucky. Two against Missouri. Could be worse. Ole Miss might need to steal and win or two out of those four, though, because its resume is lacking signature wins from non-conference play. I do think that Rutgers win will hold up and help come March, but that’s about it.
Prisbell: I know it’s easy to treat the SEC like a piñata and bash away, but remember that Florida is the top-ranked team in the KenPom ratings right now. And remember that Missouri has a great inside-outside combo with Pressey and Oriakhi. And Kentucky, despite its flaws, should be better (more experienced) come March. After that, hold your nose and select another NCAA tournament team if you wish. The one to watch, obviously, is Ole Miss. Andy Kennedy has a chance to lift the program to its first NCAA tournament berth under him. Problem is, a win over middling Tennessee was Ole Miss’ best of the season. Other than that, Ole Miss has not beaten anyone, or really played anyone. And opportunities for quality wins in this league this season are few and far between. Texas A&M is another to watch because it has played a tougher schedule than Ole Miss. … [For more on Mailbag: SEC, Catholic 7, Boise and seed projections, click here.]