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NCAAB Picks: Three SEC Basketball Teams to Watch in 2021

NCAAB Picks: Three SEC Basketball Teams to Watch in 2021
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP

SEC basketball is going to have a fun season in 2021. Before the season’s abrupt end due to COVID-19, many teams were in the running to have deep runs in the NCAA Tournament. Kentucky is always a contender to compete for a title. The Auburn Tigers rebounded after losing in the Final Four to have a strong team. Even teams like LSU and Mississippi State had the talent to turn things around in the postseason.

For the 2021 season, Kentucky will be the clear favorite to win the SEC. They might be a favorite to win the national championship by the season opener. However, other teams might be worth rolling the dice on in 2020. NCAAB odds might favor the Wildcats, but keep an eye on these other SEC contenders.

Alabama Crimson Tide

John Petty Jr. #23 of the Alabama Crimson Tide dunks. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP

Alabama is a dark horse contender to win the SEC in 2021. In Nate Oats’ second season, continuity will be strong for the Crimson Tide. They retain two key leaders, John Petty and Herb Jones, while also having plenty of contributors in the rotation. Jaden Shackelford shined as a freshman, and he will see an increased role in 2020. Even their new point guard Jahvon Quinerly was with the team last season, although he sat out for eligibility concerns.

Alabama basketball is bringing in plenty of new faces as well. Alex Tchikou and Josh Primo have the best chance to see early minutes. Keon Ambrose-Hylton will also play a significant role early in the season.

It will be hard for the Crimson Tide to be without Kira Lewis this year, but they improved at practically every other position. With the team prepared to run Oats’ style of offense, they should be able to compete in almost every game on the schedule. They won’t be a national title contender, but they are worth a wager to win the SEC.

Florida Gators

Keyontae Johnson #11 of the Florida Gators attempts a lay up. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP

With an unprecedented 2020-21 season, having experienced players is crucial. Florida retains much of its young talent from last season. It took a long time to rally the team last year, but things were looking up in Gainesville by the end of the season.

Florida will bring back their leading scorer from last season in Keyontae Johnson, and they will expect more from Scottie Lewis. If Lewis can live up to his potential, the Gators offense will be firing on all cylinders.

Andrew Nembhard is no longer with the team, so Florida needs a distributor to step up. Other than that, they are set to succeed in the upcoming season.

Florida’s odds to win the NCAA Tournament are currently at +3000. It’s unlikely for them to win it all, but they can certainly compete in the SEC. Whether it’s a regular-season crown or an SEC Tournament victory, Florida has high hopes in the upcoming year.

LSU Tigers

Darius Days #0 of the LSU Tigers with Trendon Watford #2 and Javonte Smart #1. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP

LSU has the recruiting prowess to always compete in the SEC. Even with multiple stars leaving for the NBA in recent years, they have reloaded with talent. Many believed that the Tigers would have to rebuild after this year, but they managed to hold onto some of their best players.

If any LSU bets are going to pay out, Trendon Watford has to reach his potential. He was a key recruit in the 2019 class, but he struggled as a true freshman. Many believed that his college basketball career would only last for one season, but he is back in Baton Rouge. If he lives up to the hype, the Tigers are going to be dangerous.

LSU also has Javonte Smart returning as a junior. Smart has been a key player on both sides of the ball for the past two seasons.

As always, expect LSU to be a gritty team with plenty of talent. If they can piece everything together, they can win an SEC title in 2020-21. Even if they don’t, you can always favor them when you look at the point spreads in the regular season.

College basketball will be different this season. Keep an eye on these teams to mix things up as we approach the NCAAB picking season.

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