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January 23 SEC Basketball Schedule: Time, TV, Streaming, Odds, and Picks

It only feels like everyone playing tonight is on the bubble.

NCAA Basketball: Mississippi at Arkansas Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight’s Schedule

Time (ET) Game TV/Streaming
6:30 PM Arkansas at Georgia SEC Network/WatchESPN
7:00 PM Vanderbilt at Tennessee ESPNU/WatchESPN
8:30 PM Alabama at Ole Miss SEC Network/WatchESPN
9:00 PM Texas A&M at LSU ESPNU/WatchESPN
9:00 PM Mississippi State at Kentucky ESPN/WatchESPN

In his most recent bracket, released yesterday, Joe Lunardi has Arkansas and Texas A&M as 9-seeds and Alabama as a 10-seed. In other words, all three are squarely on the bubble.

And all three head on the road on Tuesday night for key games to maintain their current position. As a bonus, Georgia, which hosts Arkansas tonight, is currently in Lunardi’s “First Four Out” (why Lunardi calls it the First Four Out and not the Last Four Out, I’ll never know), meaning that the implications of that one are huge, and the early game (6:30 PM ET on the SEC Network is probably the most consequential of the night.

LSU, which hosts Texas A&M at 9:00 PM ET on ESPNU, and Ole Miss — hosting Alabama at 8:30 PM ET on the SEC Network — aren’t on the bubble thanks to bad RPI numbers, which presents a bit of danger to the visiting teams. Granted, both home teams might ultimately wind up in the top 100 of the RPI, but these are the kind of losses that cause the Selection Committee to give you the side-eye in March, so it’s in the best interest of both bubble teams to win.

As far as the other two games go, I’ll reinstate my ongoing questioning of ESPN’s network decisions. It doesn’t make a huge difference in the world of streaming whether a game is on ESPN or the SEC Network, but there’s some weird prestige associated with being on the mothership, which makes their decision to broadcast Mississippi State at Kentucky on that network curious. Of course, that’s mostly done because of Kentucky, but still. Oh, but Kentucky’s not in the Top 25, and they’re hosting a team that isn’t even in the RPI top 100.

Speaking of outside the top 100, Vanderbilt plays at Tennessee at 7:00 PM ET on ESPNU. Tennessee is currently a 5-seed in Lunardi’s bracket and is in no danger of missing the tournament, but a home loss to Vanderbilt is the kind of thing that can literally drop you a couple of seed lines.

Bad Gambling Advice

Season to Date: 74-71-3 ATS

  • Arkansas at Georgia (-1.5): Never, ever bet on Mike Anderson on the road.
  • Vanderbilt (+11.5) at Tennessee: Vanderbilt is pretty clearly bad, but given the way the SEC schedule has gone, picking anyone to cover 11.5 seems like a bad idea.
  • Alabama (+2.5) at Ole Miss: Alabama has strangely been playing better without Collin Sexton, and I like them to continue that strong play at Ole Miss.
  • Texas A&M (-2.5) at LSU: I might like LSU in this one if they hadn’t won at Texas A&M earlier this month. Instead, this is a revenge game for the Aggies, who are a better team.
  • Mississippi State (+7.5) at Kentucky: Ugh. I don’t really like either team here (Kentucky seems capable of dropping a deuce against anyone, while Mississippi State is not particularly good), so I’ll just grab the points and be done with it.