Parity prevail

In the past discussions, here, it was said, aside from KY, SC, & FL the rest are near equal; competing for fourth-fifth place and NCAA appearance. Prior to yesterday’s games, we were grouped into 2 sevens of upper and lower. The upper being KY, SC, FL, AL, GA, MS ST, AR in order. KY beat SC as expected. FL, AL, GA, MS ST were beat by Van (2-4), AL by AU (2-4), GA by TAM (1-5), MS ST by TN (2-4) respectively. AR and KY were the only top seven to win. This shows regardless of their records, any of the 11-12 teams can beat others. We saw for ourselves the talent and size that MS ST and LSU brought. This can be said for all others; even MO is competing well and coming short. Now AR tied with GA at (4-3) for 5th place. What happens from here on is anybody’s guess. One thing we all can agree on, AR must take care of business; the rest will take care of itself.

Good points. The team that gels and finishes the season strong will pull away from the pack. I’m a hopin’ that team is the Hogs. We have some very good talent on this team and maybe Moses is ready to string together some big games. He can do it.

WPS!!!

Moses is showing some passion and aggressiveness towards the basket; and we saw the results. Free throws have declined by some; may be they address that. Rebounding and Free-throws will decide our upcoming games.

Yep on the Free-throws. The first half the Hogs were nearly perfect. Moses and Barford threw up a couple of bricks in the second half.

Overall, the Hogs are getting it done at the line.

Moses looked tired towards the end of the game. I think that led to the missed free throws.

There were a lot of tired players at the end of that game on both sides. We just gutted it out, that says something.

I’m really worried about this flu bug. With this much parity, it wouldn’t take much to tip the scales. Would be a shame if we dropped a couple due to missing a couple of key players.

A reasonable concern. Our strength is our depth. Anymore sick players, our small margin becomes smaller. Hopefully that does not happen.

As our loss to Miss St and win at TAMU show, it’s hard to predict results for most of this league.

The good news is that we are usually dominant at home. We have already lost 2 at BWA, but the team seems to be improving and the crowds are, too.

While the next week is a tough one for us (@Vandy, @Ok St.) both games are winnable.

If we can win at Vandy, things will seemingly still be trending up for us. Lose that game and it’s a downer, but not unexpected given they’re usually good there and they just beat Fla at Fla.

More good news is that we have already played at UK and have one of our Fla games out of the way.

Meanwhile, UGA and Bama, two teams we are bunched in with and right now have better overall resumes than, have some tough stretches coming up.

Bama just got waxed by AU and now has: @Uga, MSU, @Bwa, AU, @Usce and UK. They could easily go 2-4 in that stretch, if not worse. They’re likely to go 3-3 at best.

UGA has a similar tough stretch coming up: Bama, Tx, @UK, @USCe, Fla, @Tenn, Miss St., UK, @Bama. They could easily go 3-6 in that stretch and are probably looking at 4-5 at best.

Coming up we have: @Vandy, @Ok St, Bama, @MO, Vandy, @Lsu @Usce, OM, TAMU. Win the home games and win 2 road games in that stretch (not a huge ask considering we play at MO and LSU and we have a puncher’s chance in the others, although USCE is a likely loss) and we could go 6-3 in that span and are likely to go at least go at worst 5-4.

If we do the former, 6-3 (wins in home games in that stretch and wins at MO and LSU–very doable), that would put us at 21-7, 10-6 and probably firmly in 4th in SEC and projected around a 5-6 Ncaat seed entering a rough final 3 regular season games (@Au, @Fla UGA at BWA).

It would be nice to go 7-1 in that above conference stretch before the final 3 games. To do that we would have to protect home court against lesser or similar teams, beat the league’s 2 worst teams on road and win basically a tossup game at Vandy. That’s not likely but isn’t a crazy scenario, either.

Do that and we are 22-6, 11-4 (assuming a loss in a winnable game at Ok St) heading into the final 3 games.

If Hogs did that we would be in very good shape. There haven’t been many if any P5 teams in the 64/68 team era that have missed tourney with 23 + wins (assuming a win at home vs UGA or at AU or in 1st Gabe at SECt vs a 12-13 seed) and a very good RPI (and other metrics).

Usce missed out last year with 24 wins. They were the only P5 team in modern era to do so, and it (Tulsa getting in over them) was a decision Lunardi called "“indefensible by any conceivable standard.”.

They also should have been in over Vandy, who basically got in because they played a lot of tougher opponents and lost and were a preseason media darling.

In the actual games last year Vandy had a worse SEC record than Usce, five less wins, lost head to head to South Carolina and then lost in their first SECt game to 12-seed Tennessee without its best player.

In other words, the USCe snub was probably the biggest outlier in modern NCAAt selection history.

So, we are in decent shape right now. Win the games we should and just a few of the tossups and we should be solidly in the Ncaat and more worried about seeding than the bubble.

That can all change with some unexpected losses at home or on the road to horrible teams.

I know. None of this matters and we just have to keep winning. But, it’s fun to dissect–a lot more fun than 16-16 and 9-10.

Good analysis. The problem with average teams like AR is that you are not sure if you can win the games you suppose to win. You saw what happened last week. If we were a dominant team, we could go ahead and mark it up. As it is, we’ll sweat each game, hoping for the best and see what happens.