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SEC Seed Watch: Pre-SEC Tournament Edition

Can any of the teams in the SEC help build their case for a higher seed in the SEC? As they always say, there’s nowhere to go but up!

Florida v Kentucky Photo by Silas Walker/Getty Images

The 2020 SEC Tournament is set to launch on Wednesday night. The conference is running a little dry of tournament teams this year, but those who are in the mix have a chance to really solidify themselves and prop them up into a better position.

Let’s have a look at where those who are in the mix stand prior to the tip off of this year’s SEC Tournament.

Mississippi State Bulldogs

Record: 20-11
KenPom: 47
NET Ranking: 50
Average BracketMatrix Seed: 11.38
Record vs. Quad 1: 2-7
Record vs. Quad 2: 6-2

Mississippi State is in some serious need of a run right now. They are currently in the ‘First Five Out’ on BracketMatrix and the highest seed they have anywhere right now is an 11. They have just two Quad 1 wins right now, a road victory over Florida and a road win over Arkansas. Apart from that though, they are pretty starved for quality Ws at the moment.

The best case scenario for State, who will play on Friday in a quarterfinals matchup, is to take on Florida yet again. The Gators are the 5 seed and will play the winner of Georgia-Ole Miss. If the Gators play against the Bulldogs, State has a chance to lock up a win against the team currently ranked 28th in the NET. That one victory and a trip to the SEC Tourney semifinals could be what they need to get them to play in the First Four, perhaps. And obviously, the chance at making a run to the Finals can only sweeten their possibilities.

Florida Gators

Record: 19-12
KenPom: 33
NET Ranking: 28
Average BracketMatrix Seed: 9.03
Record vs. Quad 1: 5-9
Record vs. Quad 2: 4-3

Florida is pretty safe heading into the SEC Tournament. Their five Quad 1 wins against the likes of Auburn, LSU, Providence, Xavier and South Carolina put them in a very stout spot. As do their four Quad 2 wins over Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia and Texas A&M. As a result of that, they are heading into this tournament with average BracketMatrix seed of around 9.

While I would say that they’re safe, they probably want to avoid a bad loss to the winner of Ole Miss-Georgia. If they drop that, then they might be put in a very precarious position. They’re set to play aforementioned Mississippi State if they advance through the second round. This is another situation where it would behoove them to just take care of business and go through to the semifinals. I don’t expect them to make any serious movements here. But they do have a chance, I’d say, to at least prop themselves up to an 8 seed perhaps or even a 7 if things go really well for them.

LSU Tigers

Record: 21-10
KenPom: 37
NET Ranking: 29
Average BracketMatrix Seed: 8.09
Record vs. Quad 1: 4-8
Record vs. Quad 2: 7-1

LSU certainly cleaned up against Quad 2 opponents this year. They piled up wins against Arkansas, Mississippi State, Alabama, Rhode Island, Ole Miss, Liberty and Texas A&M. They also racked up four wins in Quad 1 against the likes of Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina and Texas. As a result, LSU should feel safe going into this SEC Tournament.

The Tigers will begin play in the Quarterfinals. They’ll face the winner of South Carolina vs. either Arkansas or Vanderbilt. At the moment, the highest-ranked team of those three is Arkansas, as they rank 47th in the NET Rankings. So the Tigers will likely want to face a team of their caliber in the Quarters to pad their resume further. A trip to the semifinals then assures them of facing either Auburn, Texas A&M or Mizzou. Auburn would obviously be the right play for them to get a significant boost.

Auburn Tigers

Record: 25-6
KenPom: 34
NET Ranking: 27
Average BracketMatrix Seed: 5.09
Record vs. Quad 1: 7-3
Record vs. Quad 2: 7-2

Auburn has absolutely nothing to worry about as far as their placement in the NCAA Tournament. They, right now, probably figure to be on the 5 line after accumulating 14 wins against Quad 1 and 2 opponents this year.

For them, it will be all about how they fare in the Semifinals and a possible berth in the Championship Final. Unless a lower-ranked team in the SEC makes a significant run, Auburn will have at least two chances to boost their cause for a higher seed in the NCAA Tournament. Could the 4 line be in reach? It’s certainly plausible.

Kentucky Wildcats

Record: 25-6
KenPom: 28
NET Ranking: 21
Average BracketMatrix Seed: 3.38
Record vs. Quad 1: 9-3
Record vs. Quad 2: 5-2

The SEC regular season champions racked up 14 wins against Q1 and Q2 opponents this season. As a result, they’re pretty lofty up in the BracketMatrix right now, sitting as the top-ranked team on the 4 seed line.

A run through the SEC Tournament and cutting down the nets on Sunday should likely result in UK getting a lofty seed. The only thing that could really prevent them of such is losing in their quarterfinal matchup to whomever it is that they play. That’s probably not likely (now watch it happen) so I think Kentucky fans should likely expect them to be playing at a pretty high line come Selection Sunday.

Now, of course, to really get things interesting they will need some help by having some dominoes fall around the country. Time will tell to see if that all indeed does happen.