The obvious question: Why are so many road teams winning SEC games this year?
"That's probably parity," Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl said this week. "Obviously, Georgia was picked last in the East and they about beat Kentucky and Mississippi State on the road, teams that were picked first in their respective divisions. I think that sort of says it all."
Then again, maybe not. Despite the two near-misses, Georgia hasn't won an SEC road game yet. Nine of the other 11 teams have. Here's the rundown:
Auburn won 84-80 at LSU
Kentucky won 89-77 at Florida and 72-67 at Auburn
Mississippi State won 80-75 at Ole Miss
Ole Miss won 80-76 at Georgia and 73-63 at LSU
South Carolina won 80-71 at Auburn
Tennessee won 63-56 at Alabama
Vanderbilt won 65-64 at Alabama and 89-78 at South Carolina
Obviously, one reason road teams are doing so well in SEC play this season is LSU's futility. The Tigers are 0-5 in conference action, including 0-3 at home. Simply put, they've suffered 25 percent of the league's home-court losses this winter.
Even if you take LSU out of the equation, however, SEC road teams still are having unprecedented success this year. When they don't win, they tend to give home teams fits. Georgia's last-minute losses at Lexington and Starkville are just a couple of examples.
Perhaps Pearl is right: Parity is no longer a rarity in SEC hoops. The 12 teams are so evenly matched this season that no win - home or away - can be taken for granted.
Tennessee's head man probably said it best:
"Night in and night out, SEC wins are going to be precious. You just don't want them to be precious and few."