1. Kentucky

Last season: 29-9, 10-6

Coach: John Calipari, 64-12 at Kentucky, 504-150 overall.

Players to watch: F Terrence Jones, 6-9 so. (15.7 ppg); G Marquis Teague, 6-2 fr.; F-C Anthony Davis, 6-11 fr.

Note: A North Carolina-Kentucky clash in the NCAA championship game in New Orleans is the popular pick.

2. Vanderbilt

Last season: 23-11, 9-7

Coach: Kevin Stallings, 236-148 at Vanderbilt, 359-211 overall.

Players to watch: G John Jenkins, 6-4 jr. (19.5 ppg); G-F Jeffery Taylor, 6-7 sr. (14.7 ppg); G Brad Tinsley, 6-3 sr. (10.6 ppg, 4.6 apg)

Note: Five starters return to a Final Four contender.

3. Alabama

Last season: 25-12, 12-4

Coach: Anthony Grant, 42-27 at Alabama, 118-52 overall.

Players to watch: F JaMychal Green, 6-8 sr. (15.5 ppg); F Tony Mitchell, 6-6 jr. (15.2 ppg); G Trevor Releford, 6-1 so. (11.0 ppg).

Note: Tide hopes for help from top prospects Trevor Lacey, Rodney Cooper and Levi Randolph.

4. Florida

Last season: 29-8, 13-3

Coach: Billy Donovan, 359-146 at Florida, 395-166 overall.

Players to watch: G Kenny Boynton, 6-2 jr. (14.2 ppg); G Erving Walker, 5-8 sr. (14.6 ppg); G Bradley Beal, 6-3 fr.

Note: Former assistant coach (and ex-Clemson head coach) Larry Shyatt left in the off-season for his second stint as Wyoming head coach.

5. LSU

Last season: 11-21, 3-13

Coach: Trent Johnson, 49-49 at LSU, 208-160 overall.

Players to watch: C Justin Hamilton, 7-0 jr. (transfer from Iowa); G Andre Stringer, 6-6 so. (11.2 ppg); G Ralston Turner, 6-6 so. (12.3 ppg).

Note: Tigers must improve shooting to make a solid postseason run.

6. Mississippi State

Last season: 17-14, 9-7

Coach: Rick Stansbury, 272-154 at Mississippi State and overall.

Players to watch: G Dee Bost, 6-2 sr. (15.3 ppg); F Arnett Moultrie, 6-11 jr. (transfer from Texas-El Paso); F Renardo Sidney, 6-10 jr. (14.2 ppg).

Note: Bost led the SEC in assists for conference games (5.9).

7. Georgia

Last season: 21-12, 9-7

Coach: Mark Fox, 35-29 at Georgia, 151-77 overall.

Players to watch: G Dustin Ware, 5-11 sr. (8.0 ppg); G Gerald Robinson, 6-1 sr. (12.2 ppg); Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, 6-5 fr.

Note: Georgia fans hope the third year is an NCAA Tournament charm for head coach Mark Fox.

8. Arkansas

Last season: 18-13, 7-9

Coach: Mike Anderson, first year at Arkansas, 197-97 overall.

Players to watch: G Julysses Nobles, 6-1 jr.; F Marshawn Powell, 6-7 jr.; F Mark Sanchez, 6-8. sr.

Note: Mike Anderson, late of Missouri, takes over for the dismissed John Pelphrey.

9. Mississippi

Last season: 20-14, 7-9

Coach: Andy Kennedy, 105-64 at Ole Miss, 126-77 overall.

Players to watch: F Terrence Henry, 6-9 sr. (9.7 ppg); F Reginald Buckner, 6-9 jr. (6.8 ppg); G Jelan Kendrick, fr.

Note: Kendrick, a McDonald's All-American, will be eligible in December.

10. Auburn

Last season: 11-20, 4-12

Coach: Tony Barbee, 11-20 at Auburn, 93-72 overall.

Players to watch: G Josh Wallace, 5-10 jr. (5.7 ppg); F Allen Payne, 6-6 so. (5.6 ppg); F Kenny Gabriel, 6-8 sr. (10.3 ppg).

Note: Auburn roster includes Clemson transfer Noel Johnson.

11. South Carolina

Last season: 14-16, 5-11

Coach: Darrin Horn, 50-42 at South Carolina, 161-90 overall.

Players to watch: G Bruce Ellington, 5-9 so. (12.2 ppg, 3.2 apg); F Malik Cooke, 6-6 sr. (9.4 ppg); F Lakeem Jackson, 6-5 jr. (7.8 ppg).

Note: The Gamecocks were picked last in the official SEC Media Days poll.

12. Tennessee

Last season: 19-15, 8-8

Coach: Cuonzo Martin, first year at Tennessee, 61-41 overall.

Players to watch: G Cameron Tatum, 6-7 sr. (8.8 ppg); G Trae Golden, 6-1 so. (3.0 ppg); F Kenny Hall, 6-9 jr. (2.0 ppg).

Note: First-year head coach Cuonzo Martin tries to rebuild after the Bruce Pearl sideshow left town.