SEC Basketball Power Rankings - Week 13

Tennessee and Kentucky remain the teams to beat, but a power struggle is developing for remaining top-five spots

Last week’s SEC power rankings included mention about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.

Since then some Robin Hoods have shown up.

Sure, Tennessee and Kentucky continue to overpower every opponent that comes their way, but Auburn is on the rise again in a big way. The Tigers, along with momentous teams like Arkansas, LSU, and South Carolina, are making moves to climb the rankings and compete for the top-five spots.

While Tennessee and Kentucky have separated themselves from the field, the fight for the remaining top spots may go down to the very last game.

Here's how the league stacks up going into Week 14:

1] Tennessee (21-1, 9-0): Tennessee has now won a school-record 17-consecutive games and it isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. The No. 1 Volunteers shouldn’t expect any problems when they face Florida on Saturday. Last week: 1

2] Kentucky (19-3, 8-1): Kentucky has made quick work of its past few opponents, and again look like the dominating Wildcats that we’re used to seeing this time of year. The schedule gets a little tougher over the next few games, though, as UK travels to face Mississippi State Saturday, then play LSU and Tennessee in Lexington next week. Last week: 2

3] LSU (17-4, 7-1): Losing at home to Arkansas wasn't a good look for the Tigers, but fortunately for them there hasn’t been enough drastic action by other teams to warrant a drop in the rankings. The next few games will be strong tests for LSU, though, as it travels to face Mississippi State on Wednesday, faces Auburn on Saturday and Kentucky on Tuesday. Last week: 3

4] Auburn (16-6, 5-4): Since its three-game losing streak, Auburn has done nothing but impress with three consecutive wins. The victory over Missouri was largely expected, but after demolishing both Alabama and Florida, the Tigers are back in contention for a top-four seeding in the SEC Tournament. However, Auburn played all of those games on the Plains, so we’ll have to see how it performs on the road when it visits LSU on Saturday. Last week: 8

5] South Carolina (11-11, 6-3): The No. 5 spot in our rankings marks a huge drop off. The Gamecocks have made huge strides since SEC play began, but a devastating loss to Kentucky on Tuesday was a real setback. South Carolina will look to right things when it faces Arkansas on Saturday. Last week: 4

6] Mississippi State (16-5, 4-4): After being upset by Alabama, Mississippi State picked up a solid road win against Ole Miss. However, it faces two tough opponents this week in LSU and Kentucky. Fortunately for the Bulldogs, they will be playing both games in Starkville. We'll have to wait and see what kind of advantage this gives Mississippi State, though, as these are two of the strongest opponents the Bulldogs have faced this season. Last week: 7

7] Ole Miss (14-7, 4-4): Ole Miss has lost four consecutive games, most recently to Florida and rival Mississippi State. The Rebels’ offense has been dynamic, but the defense has been lacking. Ole Miss needs to avoid upsets by Texas A&M and Georgia to avoid a potential collapse. Last week: 6

8] Arkansas (14-8, 5-4): Arkansas picked up a win over Vanderbilt on Tuesday, after upsetting a tough LSU team in Baton Rouge over the weekend. The Razorbacks are on the rise, but South Carolina looms this Saturday. Look for one of these teams to enjoy a statement win as neither can afford the loss. Last week: 9

9] Alabama (13-8, 4-4): There’s no easy way to say this: Alabama was horrible at Auburn. The Crimson Tide looked uncoordinated, confused and completely unfocused. Lack of ball control and poor defensive play allowed it to fall hard and fast. A a loss like that would be a back-breaker to many teams, and the Crimson Tide will have to pick up the pieces quickly to stay in the NCAA Tournament hunt. Georgia visiting on Wednesday, followed by a road game against Vanderbilt, is exactly what Alabama needs to return things to order. Should Alabama struggle against these opponents, though, fans are sure to be in for a long February and short March. Last week: 5

10] Florida (12-10, 4-5): Florida is nearly out of a tough stretch of games, but has lost its last two against Kentucky and Auburn. Next up, Tennessee on Saturday, with the Gators traveling to Knoxville. UF fans shouldn’t get their hopes up, but can look forward to an easier schedule the rest of the way (minus playing LSU twice and Kentucky once more). Last week: 10

11] Missouri (11-10, 2-7): At this point in the rankings, we get to the teams that are all essentially tied for last place, and could be organized as 14a, 14b, 14c, and 14d. Missouri picked up a nice win over Vanderbilt, but the victory came after three-consecutive terrible losses to Arkansas, LSU, and Auburn. The Tigers returned to the L column on Tuesday against Tennessee. Things aren’t looking pretty for Missouri right about now. Last week: 12

12] Georgia (10-11, 1-7): Ah, team 14b. Sure, the Bulldogs played relatively well against both South Carolina and Arkansas, but they still lost both games. Tom Crean hasn’t gotten off to the best start in Georgia basketball history, but that can’t be blamed solely on him. His team has talent, and plays relatively well, but lacks consistency and depth. Georgia now rolls into Tuscaloosa on Wednesday to face the Crimson Tide having lost its last six SEC games. Last week: 11

13] Texas A&M (8-12, 1-7): In spot 14c we have the Aggies, who if not for a buzzer-beater against the Crimson Tide would be 0-8 in SEC play. Texas A&M has upcoming games against Ole Miss, Missouri, and Georgia, which should lighten the load a little, but doesn’t necessarily mean more wins. Last week: 13

14] Vanderbilt (9-13, 0-9): Team 14d is still winless in league play, with upcoming games against Alabama, Florida, Auburn, and Tennessee. ‘Nuff said. Last week: 14

Visit BamaCentral every Wednesday throughout the season for updated power rankings.