Sports

SEC Basketball Preview: The Best Teams From The Best Conference

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

We may be in the heat of college football season, but that doesn’t mean we can’t also enjoy some college basketball as well.

The hoops season starts tonight, and to nobody’s surprise, the SEC also owns this sport as well. The league has five teams ranked in the AP Top 25, tied with the ACC for the most of any other conference, and after getting 8 teams in the NCAA tournament a season ago, the league will try to make that double digits this year. The SEC is not just a football conference anymore.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the best teams from the best conference before the college basketball season officially tips off Tuesday Night.

#1 Kentucky: The crown jewel of college basketball, John Calipari’s team might be the favorites to win it all this season. The second-ranked Wildcats start the season on Tuesday night against the fourth-ranked Duke Blue Devils. It should be an instant classic, but regardless of what happens Tuesday, the Wildcats are the clear favorites in the SEC.

#2 Tennessee: The Vols return every starter from a team that won a share of the SEC championship a year ago. After being upset by Loyola-Chicago in the second round of the title tournament last year, the Vols have final four aspirations this year and they should. This is a talented, experienced team that will be a force to be reckoned with all year.

#3 Auburn: The defending SEC champions look to rebound after they crashed and burned in the offseason. The Tigers return most of their starters, but most importantly get back future NBA big man Austin Wiley. Bruce Pearl’s team is a dark horse Final Four contender.

#4 Alabama: The overall dark-horse, the Crimson Tide underachieved in the regular season last year, but made up for it with a nice little postseason run. While Alabama loses guard Colin Sexton to the NBA, the Crimson Tide gain a lot of experience, returning one of the youngest, most talented rosters from a season ago. Alabama will return to the NCAA Tournament, and could go further then many anticipate.