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SEC Basketball: Georgia, Mississippi State, Alabama rise in latest power rankings

SEC Basketball play has just started and some teams have been surprises, including Alabama, Mississippi State, and Georgia making moves.

Ole Miss v Tennessee
Ole Miss v Tennessee / Eakin Howard/GettyImages
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5. Mississippi State (12-3, 1-1)

Last season was great for the Bulldogs, who returned to the NCAA Tournament in Chris Jans’ first season as head coach. There was much progress as a program and Mississippi State did more than enough against a very strong SEC. This was just the beginning and that season alone was not what Jans and company are content to accept; this year is another step forward.

Mississippi State won their first six games of the season, beating Northwestern and a few other decent squads, before trouble struck. They shot really poorly in a road loss to Georgia Tech before getting shocked at home to Southern. Instead of panicking, the team responded with some of their best offensive play of the season. After a conference-opening loss to South Carolina, the Bulldogs shocked Tennessee this week, getting them their resume-building win.

Tolu Smith has missed most of this season with injury but had 23 points against the Volunteers and his return has fans excited. The Bulldogs have the potential to be a contender in this league, especially with how some of these programs we’ve already mentioned have struggled in the early going. If Smith plays at the same level as in recent years following his return, then Mississippi State has one of the SEC’s best players. These next few weeks are rough, but watch out for the Bulldogs to make some noise.