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SEC Basketball Power Poll January 3-9

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Just like football, the members of the SEC Power Poll will be conducting a Basketball power poll. Our first ballot and attempts at clever insight and analysis follow. Final results at Garnet and Black Attack.

1. Kentucky: After seeing some of their close wins, I don't know if they are No. 3. But they sure are fun to watch. The question will be with a shorthanded Tennessee and a Florida team that can't hit water while standing in a boat, can UK run the table in the East?

2. Ole Miss: If anyone can challenge UK, it is these guys. Terrico White and Chris Warren are two of the SEC's top six scorers. The Rebs have only lost two games; vs. Nova in Puerto Rico and at West Virginia, both likely tournament teams.

3. Vanderbilt: UK and Tennessee are two of the three teams in the top-five of SEC scoring offense and defense. The third is Vandy. They carry a five game winning streak into Saturday's matchup with UF.

4. Tennessee: I'm not knocking them down too far yet, despite the four arrests that rocked the program. This will be a real test to see how good of a coach Pearl is.

5. Mississippi State: Their loss to Western Kentucky looks weak, until you realize WKU is one of the best mid-majors and it was on the road. The Bulldogs also lead the SEC in scoring defense (58.5ppg).

6. Alabama: Former Gator Brother Anthony Grant has the Tide rolling. Their four losses are to top-20 teams (K-State, Purdue, FSU) and Cornell, who took Kansas to the limit.

7. Florida: The fast start followed by three consecutive losses did not help chances of breaking the NIT streak. Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton are doing a good job of breaking rims, back boards and what ever else their errant shots hit.

8. South Carolina: As Andy Katz said, Devan Downey is the key for South Carolina making the NCAAs. The league is probably not deep enough to get more than 4 or 5 bids, but Downey's 18.5ppg help.

9.  Georgia: Beating Georgia Tech will do a lot for your confidence. Unfortunately, they get Kentucky on Saturday.

10. LSU: Tasmin Mitchell is third in scoring (17.6 ppg) and fourth in rebounding (9.5 rpg). But they've also gone 9-5 with 177 strength of schedule. The only games they won were against non-majors.

11. Auburn: Played something named West Georgia in their last game and still allowed 72 points. West Georgia sounds like a prison team.

12. Arkansas: Rotnei Clarke leads the SEC with 19.1ppg. But that can't overcome the suspensions that submarined the Hogs this fall.