S Tier: The Top Dogs
4. Kentucky | NET Ranking: 18
The Wildcats have had a rough go of things in the last couple of games, losing on the road at Texas A&M and now South Carolina last night. Those both rank as Quad 1 losses at this point, but it has to be demoralizing for a Big Blue squad that knows they should have won both of those games. Still, though, this Kentucky offense is elite—enough to take them for a deep tourney run when the time comes.
3. Alabama | NET Ranking: 9
One of three SEC teams in the NET top 10, three of the Tide’s six losses are to top-4 squads. That’ll do fine for keeping you ranked in the top 10 in the NET, especially when you’re able to blow out solid teams like South Carolina.
2. Auburn | NET Ranking: 7
Bruce Pearl’s Tigers may no longer have Jabari Smith Jr., but they’ve recovered after a slightly down year to garner an intimidating stature in the sport yet again. Johni Broome, Dylan Cardwell, and others are members of a dizzyingly deep squad that is starting to play their best ball. The only knock is that they’re 0-2 in Quad 1, including a loss to App State—but they have a chance to remedy that tonight as they travel to Tuscaloosa for the Iron Bowl of basketball.
1. Tennessee | NET Ranking: 4
The Vols are the top team in the league at the moment per the NET, and it’s well-deserved. Though they have 4 losses, they are all in Quad 1 games; even so, they are 3-4 in those contests overall, and have no losses in Quads 2, 3, or 4. They get South Carolina at home next week, and will face Kentucky a week from Saturday for their biggest conference test yet.