What Happened This Weekend
The SEC went 15-0, that’s what happened.
There’s too much to put in individual recaps, but no SEC team has lost a game yet -- though not for lack of trying on Kentucky’s part. The Wildcats made their fans sweat in wins over Utah Valley (73-63) and Vermont (73-69), but ultimately prevailed. This was somewhat expected, since Kentucky is extremely young, but still a bit jarring.
Arkansas is also 2-0 after a 95-56 win over Samford, followed by a 101-73 win over Bucknell. Jaylen Barford and Daryl Macon are impressive, but Daniel Gafford looks good for a freshman as well.
Texas A&M hammered West Virginia, 88-65, while missing two starters, so that’s something. And Alabama beat Memphis, 82-70, without Collin Sexton, Braxton Key, or Riley Norris. That’s also something.
Aside from all of that, this was mostly expected, but there was a time within recent memory that Alcorn State would have beaten LSU or something like that, so the fact that LSU beat Alcorn State by 40 is somewhat telling. This is a basketball league now.
|6:30 PM||Eastern Kentucky at Ole Miss||SEC Network+/WatchESPN|
|7:00 PM||Gardner-Webb at Florida||ESPNU/WatchESPN|
|7:30 PM||Vanderbilt at Belmont||OVC Digital Network|
|8:00 PM||Western Michigan at South Carolina||SEC Network/WatchESPN|
|9:00 PM||Wagner at Missouri||ESPN2/WatchESPN|
After a mostly weak opening-night slate, the SEC picks up the competition a notch. The best game might be one that you can’t actually watch on TV: Vanderbilt makes the approximately half-mile trip over to Belmont, which can be seen on the OVC Digital Network but not on an actual television channel, which is a shame.
Aside from that, the other four SEC teams in action have at least a 90 percent chance of winning according to KenPom. None of Gardner-Webb, Eastern Kentucky, Western Michigan, and Wagner are automatic wins, but these are all teams that I will absolutely side-eye you if you lose to.
There is a very real chance that the SEC will be 20-0 after today. Hell, Vanderbilt probably won’t even mind if they’re the loser, considering that five-star recruit Darius Garland may well have faxed over his letter of intent by the time this is published.
Bad Gambling Advice
Season to Date: 4-4 ATS. I was totally 2-0 on Sunday but I didn’t write this so you don’t believe me anyway.
- Eastern Kentucky (+16.5) at Ole Miss: Ole Miss impressed on Friday by holding off a Louisiana Lafayette team that’s actually pretty good, but 16.5 seems like a lot of points to be laying against a fairly decent EKU team. I think Ole Miss wins but by about 15, just under the number.
- Gardner-Webb at Florida (-25): This is probably going to be a blowout. I normally don’t like laying this many points but the talent differential here is pretty large.
- Vanderbilt (-3) at Belmont: HOMER PICK ALERT: Cam Newton will disagree, but I think Vanderbilt beats Belmont. Yes, it’s a “road game,” but go look at a damn map to see how far Belmont is from Vanderbilt.
- Western Michigan at South Carolina (-10.5): I picked against South Carolina on Friday and looked like an idiot, so I’m not going to do that again.
- Wagner at Missouri (-18): Michael Porter Jr. played two minutes on Friday night, and Missouri still beat Iowa State by 15. Wagner is not as good as Iowa State, and Michael Porter Jr. might play more than two minutes tonight. Do the math here.