If college basketball season ended today, here is how the SEC standings would look, taking into account all applicable tiebreakers:
|Position||East Team||SEC||All||West Team||SEC||All|
|1||Florida Gators||12-3||23-6||Alabama Crimson Tide||11-4||19-10|
|2||Vanderbilt Commodores||9-6||21-8||Mississippi St. Bulldogs||8-7||16-13|
|3||Kentucky Wildcats||9-6||21-8||Arkansas Razorbacks||7-8||18-11|
|4||Georgia Bulldogs||9-6||20-9||Mississippi Rebels||6-9||18-12|
|5||Tennessee Volunteers||8-7||18-12||LSU Tigers||3-12||11-19|
|6||South Carolina Gamecocks||5-10||14-14||Auburn Tigers||3-12||10-19|
Florida, Alabama, Vanderbilt, and (perversely) Mississippi State all would have first-round byes. Third-seeded Kentucky would take on sixth-seeded Auburn for the right to face Mississippi State in the second round. Third-seeded Arkansas would take on sixth-seeded South Carolina for the right to face Vanderbilt in the second round. Fourth-seeded Ole Miss would take on fifth-seeded Tennessee for the right to face Florida in the second round. Fourth-seeded Georgia would take on fifth-seeded Louisiana State for the right to face Alabama in the second round.
The winner of Mississippi State’s second round game would face the winner of Florida’s second round game in the SEC Tournament semifinals, while the winner of Alabama’s second round game would face the winner of Vanderbilt’s second round game. The winners of those two games, of course, would meet in the finals for the right to represent the league in the NCAA Tournament as the conference champion.
Assuming the Western Division standings do not change between now and the end of the season, a fifth-place finish by Georgia would require the Fox Hounds to go through the Rebels to get to the Gators, a fourth-place finish by the Bulldogs would require the Red and Black to go through the Bayou Bengals to get to the Crimson Tide, a third-place finish by the Classic City Canines would require the Athenians to go through the Plainsmen to get to the Magnolia State Mongrels, and a second-place finish by the Hoop Dogs would allow Georgia to skip the first round entirely and go straight to facing the winner of the Gamecocks’ battle with the Razorbacks.
Which course strikes you as the preferable path to the conference tourney semifinals? Honestly, I think I’d rather see Georgia finish third (assuming that is mathematically possible after Tennessee’s Thursday night win over South Carolina), as I like the Bulldogs’ chances of beating Auburn and Mississippi State in succession to get a third crack at the Gators on a neutral court.