Is the SEC down this year? Tennessee coach Rick Barnes weighs in
The Tennessee Volunteers were looking like a potential Final Four contender heading into last week. Then, the Vols fell apart, losing in blowout fashion at Florida and dropping a home game against Mizzou.
So, with one of the SEC’s top teams struggling so much, it’s fair to ask if the league, as a whole, is down this year.
Tennessee coach Rick Barnes was asked about that on Monday night and said he thinks there are plenty of good teams in the league:
#Vols’ Rick Barnes on people saying SEC basketball is down because Kentucky is struggling and Tennessee lost back-to-back games: People don’t say the ACC is down just because Duke and Carolina are struggling. I don’t know who would be excited about playing Mizzou, Alabama, LSU.
— Wes Rucker (@wesrucker247) January 26, 2021
Indeed, Alabama is 8-0 in SEC play and up to No. 9 in the AP Poll. Mizzou is at No. 12 and LSU, though it dropped a game at Kentucky on Saturday, is still a tough team.
Meanwhile, Tennessee is still in a great position to make the NCAA Tournament, so we’ll see if the Vols can bounce back this week. An SEC/Big 12 Challenge game against Kansas looms large on Saturday.