Monday, February 3, 2020

Auburn and the SEC

Auburn beat Kentucky on Saturday to improve to 19-2. They’re up to 11 in the AP poll but are all the way down at 33 in KenPom. Let’s take a closer look at the Tigers.

After making the Final Four last year, they lost their 3 top players. Despite this, they’ve positioned themselves well. As of this morning, Brian was projecting them as a 3-seed. This is what they’ve earned but they’d be a wildly overrated 3.

While they were one of the last defeated teams in the nation, their schedule was full of meh wins, including a home win in overtime against Furman. Their best non-conference win was over Richmond. The SEC is the 5th best league by KenPom. Kentucky is only sitting at 36 in KenPom. LSU is in first and undefeated in league play but only 32nd in KenPom. Chances are, the SEC teams may end up wildly overvalued this March.

In fact, if we dive deeper into the SEC, they only have 3 teams in the top 20 in offensive or defensive efficiency. LSU is 6th in offensive efficiency, Mississippi State is 13th in offensive efficiency and Arkansas is 14th in defensive efficiency. Auburn is 39th in offensive efficiency and 41st in defensive efficiency.

Given the nature of the season, anything is possible. The SEC is full of pretty good teams but not a single one currently projects as a second weekend team. They’ll get better seeding than that but they’ll be ripe to be “upset”.

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