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Today in SEC Basketball: January 23

South Carolina continues to surprise.

NCAA Basketball: Auburn at South Carolina Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

You know the drill by now. Let’s get down to business.


SOUTH CAROLINA 80, AUBURN 77

The South Carolina Gamecocks are 5-1 in SEC play. Imagine thinking that would happen to start the year? Well, thanks in large part to the play of Chris Silva, it’s a reality. Silva scored 32 points on 12 shots against the Auburn Tigers in South Carolina’s 80-77 victory on Tuesday night. Silva was by far the best player on the floor and was also a terror on the boards, collecting 14 rebounds to boot. 34 combined points by Jared Harper and Bryce Brown weren’t enough for the Tigers to escape Columbia with a victory. And suddenly, the Tigers have lost two in a row and are now under .500 in SEC play.

KENTUCKY 76, MISSISSIPPI STATE 55

The Kentucky Wildcats continue to roll as they’ve improved to 5-1 on the year in SEC play after their 76-55 win over the Mississippi State Bulldogs. They’ve now won five in a row after losing their SEC opener and have only recorded one loss since their defeat at the hands of the Seton Hall Pirates back on December 8. That includes this thumping of State, their third performance in which they’ve allowed 55 points or less. PJ Washington had 21 points, leading both sides, with a mark of 9-for-15 from the floor. Tyler Herro was 3-for-3 from beyond the arc and finished with 18 points. Quinndary Weatherspoon led the Bulldogs with 19 points and Tyson Carter had 11.

FLORIDA 81, TEXAS A&M 72

After overcoming a 13-point deficit early in the second half, the Florida Gators collected their third SEC victory of the season. The Gators knocked off the Texas A&M Aggies 81-72 and led by as many as 10 in the final sequences of the game. The Gators held the Aggies to just 26 second half points including merely 11 in the first 10 minutes. KeVaughn Allen was the go-getter for Florida as he had 31 points and went 8-for-10 (!) from 3-point land. Noah Locke wasn’t too far behind as the freshman went 7-for-13 (!) from beyond the arc and finished with 27 points. Wendell Mitchell erupted for 25 points and a 7-for-9 (!) mak from beyond the arc, but the Aggies just couldn’t stop UF down the stretch in spite of that performance from Mitchell.

ALABAMA 74, OLE MISS 53

A 3-0 start for the Ole Miss Rebels has suddenly turned into a 4-2 mark as the Rebels dropped another one on Tuesday. Ole Miss lost 74-53 to the Alabama Crimson Tide, who handed them their second loss in three games. ‘Bama led 42-26 at the break and the REbels only mustered eight points in the first 10 minutes of the second half. The Tide led by as many as 29 points, a 68-39 lead with 5:54 to go in the game. Donta Hall had 11 points and 10 rebounds, showing out in a big way. John Petty had 15 points with a 6-for-10 mark from the field and Galin Smith racked up 10 points, as well. Terence Davis got 10 points, but no other Rebel got into double figures.


TONIGHT’S SLATE

TENNESSEE vs. VANDERBILT — 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2, WatchESPN
GEORGIA vs. LSU — 7 p.m. ET, SEC Network, WatchESPN
MIZZOU vs. ARKANSAS — 9 p.m. ET, SEC Network, WatchESPN

Obviously, all eyes will be on the new No. 1 team in the land, the Tennessee Volunteers, as they face off with the Vanderbilt Commodores. The Vols are No. 1 for the first time since the 2007-08 season, and hope to see that standing last longer than a week.

The LSU Tigers are in the poll for the first time since the 2015-16 season, as they stand 25th in the nation as they face off with the Georgia Bulldogs.

Lastly, the Missouri Tigers face off with the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bud Walton in what could be an intriguing game.