Well, we're thirteen eighteenths through the SEC season, so I felt a conference-wide update was necessary. I'll use the latest Bracketology as my driver this time, with big wins defined as RPI top 50 wins, and bad losses defined as RPI 100+ losses.
Also, we're cutting the dead weight and taking a closer look at the top nine. If you're looking for an in-depth discussion of 4-9 Auburn's tourney resume, you're going to be sorely disappointed.
One final note - if you're really only interested in the Aggies bubble picture, skip to the bottom.
Here we go.
Tier One: Lord of the Dance
Kentucky Wildcats (12-0; 25-0 overall)
Bracketology Projection: #1 seed (Midwest)
Good wins: Kansas, North Carolina, @Louisville, Providence, Georgia, Texas, Ole Miss, UCLA, @Texas A&M
Bad losses: lolol
Homestretch: Auburn, @Mississippi St, Arkansas, @Georgia, Florida
In 140 characters or less: Arkansas is probably the only thing standing between them and an undefeated regular season. They are good at basketball.
Tier Two: Paupers of the Dance
Arkansas Razorbacks (9-3; 20-5 overall)
Bracketology Projection: #5 seed (Midwest)
Good wins: @SMU, @Georgia, Dayton, @Ole Miss, Iona
Bad losses: None
Homestretch: @Mississippi St, Texas A&M, @Kentucky, @South Carolina, LSU
In 140 characters or less: After a dicey stretch mid-season, the Hogs are 8-1 in their last nine. A monster, monster win @Ole Miss all but secured the #2 seed.
Ole Miss Runnin' Rebels (8-4; 17-8 overall)
Bracketology Projection: #9 seed (East)
Good wins: @Arkansas, Cincinnati, Texas A&M
Bad losses: Western Kentucky, TCU, Charleston Southern
Homestretch: Tennessee, Georgia, @LSU, @Alabama, Vanderbilt
In 140 characters or less: 7-1 in their last eight, with the only loss coming by one point to Arkansas. This is a well-balanced team that I would not want to see in my pod in March.
Georgia Bulldogs (7-6; 16-9 overall)
Bracketology Projection: #9 seed (South)
Good wins: Ole Miss, @Texas A&M
Bad losses: @Georgia Tech, @South Carolina, Auburn
Homestretch: @Alabama, @Ole Miss, Missouri, Kentucky, @Auburn
In 140 characters or less: After back to back home losses to Auburn and South Carolina, you could hear the 80's movie record scratch all the way in College Station. In absolute free fall.
Fightin' Texas Aggie Basketball (9-4; 17-7 overall)
Bracketology Projection: #10 seed (Midwest)
Good wins: None
Bad losses: Kansas St
Homestretch: @South Carolina, @Arkansas, Auburn, @Florida, Alabama
In 140 characters or less: A sneaky-good 7-2 record against the RPI 51-100 group will probably be enough, as long they avoid bad losses for the rest of the season.
LSU Tigers (7-6; 18-8 overall)
Bracketology Projection: #11 seed (West)
Good wins: @West Virginia, Georgia, UMass, @Ole Miss
Bad losses: Auburn, @Mississippi St, @Missouri
Homestretch: Florida, @Auburn, Ole Miss, Tennessee, @Arkansas
In 140 characters or less: Plays to the level of their competition, has just enough big wins to offset bizarre losses @MSU and @Mizzou
Tier 3: Wallflowers
Tennessee Volunteers (6-7; 14-11 overall)
Bracketology Projection: N/A
Good wins: Arkansas, Butler
Bad losses: Marquette, Mississippi St
Homestretch: @Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, @Florida, @LSU, South Carolina
In 140 characters or less: Three tough road games will likely sink a team that really doesn't have a realistic NCAA shot to begin with.
Alabama Crimson Tide (6-7; 16-10 overall)
Bracketology Projection: N/A
Good wins: Texas A&M, UCLA
Bad losses: Vanderbilt
Homestretch: Georgia, South Carolina, @Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, @Texas A&M
In 140 characters or less: From the last update - "UF/UK/LSU in their next four will tell us what we need to know." They lost all three. Now we know.
Florida Gators (6-7; 14-11 overall)
Bracketology Projection: N/A
Good wins: Arkansas
Bad losses: @Vanderbilt, @Florida St
Homestretch: @LSU, @Missouri, Tennessee, Texas A&M, @Kentucky
In 140 characters or less: Call me crazy, but I don't want to see the Gators in the SEC tournament. I could see this talented squad making a nice last stand and proving themselves a tough out.
Aggie Bubble Update Part 1: Non-conference
The road beating @Baylor continues to look somewhat defendable, as they sit at #20 in both polls and hold a very impressive #13 ranking in the RPI.
Dayton has dropped from the rankings, but has played very, very well since the dismissal of their two best big men. The Flyers sit just outside the Top 25 and hold a healthy #30 RPI ranking of their own. (arrrrrgh that win would have been nice)
Kansas St, however... that one's not looking good. The 'Cats have lost six of seven in the brutal, brutal Big XII, and have dipped to #101 in the RPI. That, of course, makes them a dreaded "bad loss." This is something to keep an eye on, as a Kansas St. freefall could most certainly harm the cause.
Arizona State is treading water in the Pac 12, and should stay comfortably in the 50-100 RPI range for the remainder of the season. Our tight, tight victory over SHSU is looking a bit more defendable as well, as the Bearkats are yet again making a strong push to hit the tourney.
After that, things get a little thin. The remaining victories serve as little more than cannon fodder, and won't be seriously considered on Selection Sunday.
Aggie Bubble Update Part 2: #SECBasketballFever
A&M currently sits at 9-4 in conference, with a likely inside track to a top four SEC tournament seed and a coveted double bye. There are still a handful of available scenarios here... so let's haphazardly attack them all with limited information.
Scenario #1: A&M loses one of Auburn, Alabama, or @South Carolina
Right now, our entire resume screams "pick us because we don't lose to bad teams!" It's by far the best thing we have going for us, and losing that pitch would make life really, really difficult.
If it happens, we'd have to win @Arkansas to offset that loss with an impressive win. We'd have to. If not, we'd have to take a pretty impressive scalp in Nashville (either Arkansas or Kentucky) or else we're looking at life as a #1 seed in the NIT. It would be a bitter, bitter pill to swallow.
Scenario #2: A&M loses @Florida and @Arkansas, but wins the three games in scenario #1
This is the most likely scenario, and given Georgia's freefall it likely means we're looking at a top 4 SEC tourney seed. In order to feel really safe, we'd need to win our quarterfinal game and play Kentucky/Arkansas reasonably close in the semi's.
Scenario #3: A&M finishes the regular season 4-1
If we go 4-1 to finish the season, it really wouldn't matter who we lost to. That 13-5 conference record would overcome just about anything, and we'd probably rest nice and easy on Selection Sunday.
Scenario #4: A&M finishes the regular season 5-0, wins SEC Tournament
[chugs spiked maroon kool-aid, smashes glass, hugs strangers]
Let's wrap up with some final projections
Safely in the tournament: Kentucky, Arkansas, Ole Miss
In the main field, will sweat a bit: Texas A&M
First Four in Dayton: LSU
Shaking their head sadly, wondering where it all went wrong: Georgia
So, what do you guys think? Will the Aggies make the dance? How will they get there?