The SEC remains unpredictable.
Last week, Auburn and Tennessee had big tests ahead of them. The Tigers’ unbeaten home streak ended when Texas A&M edged Auburn, 81-80. The Tigers were without their leading scorer and arguably best defender, Bryce Brown, in the second half after he injured his right shoulder. Brown’s absence didn’t stop the Tigers from rebounding with a big 78-61 road win over rival Georgia on Saturday. No. 10 Auburn remains 2 games ahead of Florida and Tennessee in the conference standings and are 5-1 on the road in SEC play.
The Vols opened the week with an exciting 61-59 win over Kentucky. It was a game that went back and forth, but a key steal by Jordan Bowden and insurance dunk by Admiral Schofield led UT to its first win at Rupp Arena since 2006. Tennessee was on a 6-game win streak heading into Tuscaloosa on Saturday, but Alabama ended that in a big way with a 78-50 win, the Vols’ biggest loss of the season.
Meanwhile, it looks like Texas A&M has turned around its season. The Aggies peaked at No. 5 in the nation on Dec. 25, but lost their first 5 games in league play. But back-to-back wins against Auburn and Kentucky have them back in the Top 25 and 6-6 in the SEC. But it wasn’t all good news for A&M: Duane Wilson (9.0 points per game, 4.0 assists) left the Kentucky game and is out for the rest of the season. The Aggies dismissed JJ Caldwell, who averaged 2.9 points in 16 games and indefinitely suspended Jay Jay Chandler (4.0 ppg, 24 games).
Entering games scheduled for Tuesday
3 games to watch this week
No. 21 Texas A&M at Missouri (Tuesday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU)
Both Missouri and Texas A&M are on 4-game winning streaks. Mizzou guard Kassius Robertson is the SEC Player of the Week for the second consecutive week (he’s scored 20-plus points in 5 of the Tigers’ last 6 games). The Aggies looked hot last week, taking down top dog Auburn. However, injuries and suspensions have hit Texas A&M again.
Kentucky at No. 10 Auburn (Wednesday, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
For the first time under John Calipari, UK has lost three consecutive games, thus falling out of the AP Top 25. Wildcats will need to rely on its defense for a chance at a road win against Auburn. The Tigers rank 179th in points allowed, which is good for the Cats. However, Auburn has lost only one home game this season.
Alabama at Kentucky (Saturday, 2 p.m. ET, CBS)
Coach Avery Johnson and the Tide have their eyes set on the NCAA Tournament. Despite Kentucky’s many flaws, Lexington is never an easy place to win, and Alabama has struggled on the road at times this season. The Tide are feeling good after a statement win over Tennessee. However, the Cats are desperately seeking to turn around their season.
This week’s schedule
Texas A&M at Missouri, 7 p.m. (ESPNU
Arkansas at Ole Miss, 7 p.m. (SEC Network)
South Carolina at No. 18 Tennessee, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
LSU at Alabama, 9 p.m. (SEC Network)
Mississippi State at Vanderbilt, 7 p.m. (SEC Network)
Kentucky at No. 10 Auburn, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
Georgia at Florida, 9 p.m. (SEC Network)
Missouri at LSU, 2 p.m. (ESPN2)
Alabama at Kentucky, 2 p.m. (CBS)
No. 10 Auburn at South Carolina, 3:30 p.m. (SEC Network)
No. 21 Texas A&M at Arkansas, 4 p.m. (ESPN)
Florida at Vanderbilt, 4 p.m. (ESPN2)
No. 18 Tennessee at Georgia, 6 p.m. (SEC Network)
Ole Miss at Mississippi State, 8:30 p.m. (SEC Network)
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