Sunday, February 15, 2009

SEC Snub: LSU Wins 9th Straight But Remains Unranked

Not a single team from the SEC made the AP Top 25 poll or the second consecutive week, even though LSU has won 9 straight in the conference. At 21-4 and 9-1, the Tigers seem almost assured of making the grade on Monday, when the latest iteration of the Top 25 is released.

The Tigers received 167 votes in last week's poll, a solid #26 right behind Florida St, which made the poll for the first time since 1998. On Saturday, the Seminoles were brought back to earth by #7 Wake Forest, taking an 86-63 beating on the road.

While losing to the high-ranked Demon Deacons may not be enough to pull down Florida State (19-6, 6-4), LSU's come-from-behind, 73-66 win over Mississippi should carry more weight with the voters.

Along with the Tigers, South Carolina seems deserving of a ranking as well. The Gamecocks, at 7-3, are in a logjam with Kentucky and Florida for the East division lead, but they hold a win over Kentucky and a split with the Gators and have won 6 of their last 7 en route to an 18-5 record.

Both the Tigers and amecocks are idle until Feb. 18 (Wednesday), so it will be interesting to see if the voters decide to include the SEC in their calculus. The SEC normally places 4 or 5 teams in the NCAA tournament, so it would be stunning to see the conference shut out of the rankings in the polls leading up to the big dance.

With #21 Utah State, #24 Ohio State and #25 Florida State all suffering losses and #23 Syracuse being taken to overtime by Georgetown (4-8 in the Big East) on Saturday, will the voters find a spot for at least one SEC squad?

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