6 SEC teams crack top 25 in CBS Sports' updated Top 25 (And 1) rankings
Six SEC basketball teams cracked the top 25 of CBS Sports’ updated Top 25 And 1, released Monday. Of those 6, 3 are included in the top-10.
The SEC teams within the Top 25 And 1 are listed below:
- No. 4 — Kentucky
- No. 6 — Arkansas
- No. 10 — Tennessee
- No. 13 — Auburn
- No. 17 — Texas A&M
- No. 21 — Alabama
Let’s start with the 3 teams included in the top 10 and break down the remaining squads from there.
The Wildcats, Razorbacks and Volunteers all had varying degrees of success in last season’s NCAA Tournament. Kentucky, earning a No. 2 ranking and possessing one of the most dominant players in the game in Oscar Tshiebwe, dropped its first-round bout with Saint Peter’s.
Tennessee was red-hot entering the tournament but dropped its second-round matchup against Juwan Howard and Michigan after besting Longwood in the first round. The Razorbacks were the only SEC team to reach the Sweet 16, catapulting into the Elite Eight for the sixth time since 1985, when the tournament expanded to 64 teams.
Kentucky and Tennessee return top starters from last season, such as Tshiebwe and Vols shooting guard Santiago Vescovi. The Razorbacks took a different approach.
Eric Musselman and Co. added three 5-star prospects in the offseason in Nick Smith, Jordan Walsh and Anthony Black. That, paired with 4 incoming transfers, including Rhode Island twins Makhel and Makhi Mitchell, corresponds to a worthy ranking.
Rounding out the Top 25 are Auburn, SEC Tournament runner-up Texas A&M and Alabama.
Auburn also earned a 2-seed alongside Kentucky and returns 4 of the top 6 scorers from last season. The Tigers will have a huge spot to fill in departing future NBA lottery pick Jabari Smith. To relieve this, Auburn added capable Morehead State transfer Johni Broome and former five-star LSU commit Yohan Traore.
Texas A&M returns most of its starting roster from a team that gained a lot of momentum in the SEC Tournament. The Aggies blitzed through the field as an 8-seed, downing Kentucky and Arkansas before falling at the hands of Tennessee.
Head coach Nate Oats struggled to rekindle a dangerous 2020-2021 version of Alabama last season. The Crimson Tide will be able to shoot for that version of themselves this upcoming season with a top-5 recruiting class and Ohio transfer Mark Sears.