Our weekly look at SEC basketball:
* The bottom line with Florida’s basketball team is that these Gators can’t stand prosperity. Every time you start to feel good about them, they hand you a numbing loss. And when you get down on them as many people are today, they bounce back with a nice win. What is really in jeopardy now is the Thursday off day of the two-day bye at the SEC Tournament as Florida is in a three-way tie for third in the standings.
* OK, so I am the guy who always says you have to play around poor officiating because there is nothing you can do about it and you can’t let it get to you. Wednesday night was as animated as I’ve seen Florida’s players when it came to calls going the other way. From where we sit, it’s always hard to tell for sure but I think the officials in the Florida-Georgia game might have been the worst crew I’ve ever seen. Kentucky fans would disagree because they were not thrilled with what they got in Auburn. Overall — and I watch as much SEC hoops as anyone — the league is much better and the coaching is much better but the officiating has taken a downturn. Too many guys out of position to make calls.
* You know what team I don’t get to make the NCAA Tournament? Arkansas. The Razorbacks have a lofty RPI (30), but only three top-tier wins. And they are 2-6 on the road. I put them in the category of work to do and with their schedule the opportunities will be there. The same with Kentucky. Auburn students started chanting “N-I-T” but it took a fourth straight loss to make me realize that’s a real possibility. Right now, I have seven SEC teams in but only two — Auburn and Tennessee — are anything higher than a six seed.
* Good luck trying to pick a five-man All-SEC team at the end of the season. Especially if you have to limit it to two or three guards. Of the top six players in scoring in the league, five of them are guards. My ballot right now would include Yante Maten of Georgia, Grant Williams of Tennessee, Jared Harper of Auburn, Chris Chiozza of Florida and Jaylen Barford of Arkansas. Now think of all the players having great years I have left off. That’s why the league is so good this year — players.