SEC Basketball Projections

The SEC is as deep as it’s been a long time, including multiple final four contenders. The SEC is projected to have six to seven NCAA tournament teams, maybe eight if they get some help. Five SEC teams were ranked in the preseason Top 25, and two more were receiving votes. Auburn ran away with the regular season SEC title a season ago and looks to repeat. Tennessee is looking to win back-to-back SEC tournament titles for the first time in school history. With the conference being as deep as it is this season, it wouldn’t surprise me if any team won it. 

Now that it’s January and the start of conference play, here is how I see the conference standings looking at the end of the season:

SEC Conference Standing Projections

  1. Tennessee (15-3)
  2. Alabama (15-3)
  3. Arkansas (13-5)
  4. Kentucky (13-5)
  5. Missouri (12-6)
  6. Auburn (12-6)
  7. Florida (10-8)
  8. LSU (9-9)
  9. Mississippi State (8-10)
  10. Ole Miss (7-11)
  11. Georgia (6-12)
  12. Texas A&M (6-12)
  13. Vanderbilt (4-14)
  14. South Carolina (1-17)

*Conference record only

The SEC is very top-heavy, but the conference as a whole has improved a ton over the past couple of years. The top four teams in the SEC are all sweet sixteen teams or better. I could see any of the top four teams win the conference when it’s all said and done. The top eight teams in the conference could very well be sweet sixteen teams. In my opinion, here is how I see every team finishes the season :

NCAA Tournament Teams :

Tennessee – Elite Eight
Alabama – Elite Eight
Arkansas – Sweet Sixteen
Kentucky – Second Round
Auburn – Second Round
Missouri – First/Second Round
LSU – First Round

These are all teams I believe will make the NCAA tournament. Alabama, Arkansas, and Tennessee are all final four good. Kentucky and Auburn are both solid teams, but I don’t see either advancing very far in the tournament. Missouri is the wild card of the SEC. Missouri could either be a top-four seed or a double-digit seed, either way, I think they are good enough to make the tournament. Nobody knows much about LSU yet, however, they definitely have enough talent to make the tournament.

Bubble Teams :

Mississippi State

Both Mississippi State and Florida will be very competitive in SEC play, but I don’t think either team will have a good enough resume to make the NCAA tournament. With that being said, both teams could very easily get into the tournament.

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NIT Teams :

Mississippi State



As of now, I do not think the SEC will have a team make the final four. I do, however, think that the SEC will have a lot better showing than they had last NCAA tournament. I believe that the top four teams in the conference could all be second-weekend teams. Tennessee and Alabama both have what it takes to make the final four, but both teams still have to improve in key areas. Arkansas and Kentucky are two teams that could either make the elite eight or get upset in the first round. The hogs and wildcats both have a lot to figure out, but still plenty of time before March. In my opinion, I don’t see any other SEC team making it to the second weekend right now, but Auburn and Missouri are both very capable.

The conference schedule is absolutely loaded with big-time games and I am very eager to see what teams separate themselves from the rest.