Another big weekend of SEC hoops is upon us, with a few games that could impact the fight for a top four spot in the conference tournament. Though we don’t have any top 25 matchups, there are a few games on the slate that could bring an upset.
Heading into the weekend, all eyes are on the No. 1 Auburn Tigers, but the main event is happening in Tuscaloosa. Other than a few outliers, this weekend doesn’t have the juice we’ve seen previously.
Kentucky (18-4, 7-2) at Alabama (14-8, 4-5). 8 pm ET on ESPN
This Kentucky team looks like it could give Auburn a run for their money if they were to play again. Unfortunately, they do not. So, the Wildcats are working through the conference playing like a team that could make a run in March. You have to love the physicality from Oscar Tshiebwe, who is leading the team with 16 points per game and 15 rebounds. Add in the play of TyTy Washington, who’s leading them at the guard position, and the Wildcats have become a dangerous team.
Now, the matchup with Alabama will be a solid test. The Tide have shown they can hang with anyone in the conference, but also lose to anyone as well. They’ve beaten three Final Four teams from the 2021 season. Coming off the performance at Auburn, where they gave up 100 points to the Tigers, you start to wonder how far their guards can take them. But, make no mistake, this is a talented group, led by Jaden Shackelford and Jahvon Quinerly, who are averaging more than 14 points per game each. This feels like a game which Alabama should be ready for, especially with the teams they’ve beaten this season. The premier matchup of the day is happening in Tuscaloosa, so let’s hope the Tide show up ready to go.
Tennessee (15-6, 6-3) at South Carolina (13-8, 4-5). 1 pm ET on CBS
The Vols took care of Texas A&M on Tuesday night, with great play from Kennedy Chandler, Josiah-Jordan James and Zakai Zeigler leading the way. The Vols leading scorer Santiago Vescovi is leading the Vols with 14 points per game, while this team tries to figure out what they have with their frontline. Rick Barnes is still trying to find the right guys to go with Olivier Nkamhoua in the post, but we’ve also seen the Vols go with a three-guard set at times. Look, this Tennessee team is very talented, but they need to start putting away opponents when they have the chance, not letting a team like Texas A&M hang around on Tuesday.
We’re going to find out how good this squad really is down the stretch, and it starts this weekend in Columbia. The Gamecocks are going to play the Vols very physical, just like the previous meeting. So, how the Vols respond will determine the outcome. I am not saying the Gamecocks will win on Saturday, but they will test the Vols early, especially in the paint. Bring your A-game, Tennessee, because there’s no reason to lose this one on the road.
No. 1 Auburn (21-1, 9-0) at Georgia (6-16, 1-8). 1 pm ET on SECN
The only reason I am interested in this game is to see how Auburn handles themselves on the road. Yes, Georgia beat Alabama last week, but this team isn’t very good at all. So, I don’t expect the Tigers to have much trouble with the Bulldogs, especially around the basket. Walker Kessler and Jabari Smith are causing problems for everyone, and I expect that to continue on Saturday. I want to see the Tigers get up for a game that doesn’t have much juice, besides the Auburn fans who will be in attendance in Athens. Take care of business, Tigers. Don’t make this a game with ten minutes to go.
LSU travels to Nashville this weekend to take on Vanderbilt, who is coming off a gritty performance against Kentucky. The Tigers put on a terrible performance against Ole Miss on Tuesday, and the Rebels got their first win over LSU since 2013. The Commodores have Scottie Pippen Jr. to lead the way, and the Tigers are reeling right now, losing five of their last six games. I don’t trust LSU at the moment, and this would be the perfect opportunity for Vanderbilt to make them pay. Keep an eye on this one, at 6 pm ET on SECN.
Ole Miss at Florida. 3:30pm ET on SECN
Missouri at Texas A&M. 4pm ET on ESPN2
Mississippi State at Arkansas. 8:30pm ET on SECN