Well, after what happened to Kentucky in the NIT, I think it is safe to say the SEC was every bit what we have thought it was. Which is to say, it sucks.
Still, Florida looks like a real threat to bust up the B1.5G's presumed national title. I'll get to the Gators in a minute. It isn't hard to say they are a legit threat to go to the Final Four. I type that with much consternation.
As for Ole Miss and Missouri, they are harder to figure out. Missouri is easiest, as they have a tough, tough draw. I think they match up well with their first round opponent, Colorado State. The Rams have 8 losses and only to teams that are RPI top 50. If the Tigers can isolate Colorado State's big man Iverson, they'll win going away. Mizzou found a way to do that with Florida and Illinois, so I expect them to do so with Colorado State.
They they likely get Louisville. I don't see the Tigers, or anyone for a couple of weeks, beating Louisville. In November, the Cardinals took great care of business in the Bahamas by 17 in November.
Ole Miss is quite the quandary. They will go as long as Marshall Henderson takes them. They are a sexy pick as a 12 seed against Wisconsin. Here's the thing: Wisconsin has been facing quick shooters and their defense knows what to do to isolate them, as the B1.5G is full of those types of players. The Badgers play a stout inside game. I just don't think the Rebels have the right personnel to handle that.
Then again, Marshall Henderson could become The Story of the tournament and go off for 42 points in an 82-81 crazy first round instant classic. Yeah, I just can't see that happening.
Florida is set up to go deep. Their first and second round opponents match up poorly with the Gators. The sweet 16 match up is either Georgetown and San Diego State. Clearly the Hoyas offer a tougher test, but their game is very well suited to handle Georgetown's defensive minded team. While that is their first tough match, I think they'll handle Georgetown.
In the Elite 8, the money is on Kansas as their potential opponent. However, the Jayhawks have shown us they are bound to have a bad game here and there. Even if Kansas doesn't, Florida's talent and coaching will match with them. At that point in the tournament, it really is about which very talented team is playing the best.
With any luck, I am wrong, and Florida will lose in the first round.
Don't count it.