Taking into account all applicable tiebreakers, here is how the SEC standings would look if the college basketball regular season ended today. (Well, all right, the college basketball regular season does end today in the SEC, but you get my meaning.) Here is the skinny, also known as the straight poop:
|Position||East Team||SEC||All||West Team||SEC||All|
|1||Florida Gators||13-3||24-6||Alabama Crimson Tide||12-4||20-10|
|2||Kentucky Wildcats||9-6||21-8||Mississippi St. Bulldogs||9-7||17-13|
|3||Vanderbilt Commodores||9-7||21-9||Mississippi Rebels||7-9||19-12|
|4||Georgia Bulldogs||9-7||20-10||Arkansas Razorbacks||7-9||18-12|
|5||Tennessee Volunteers||8-7||18-12||Auburn Tigers||4-12||11-19|
|6||South Carolina Gamecocks||5-11||14-15||LSU Tigers||3-13||11-20|
The West is now set in stone. The only game remaining to be played in the East is the contest between Kentucky and Tennessee at high noon on CBS. If the Wildcats win, they will finish in sole possession of second place in the division at 10-6 and the Volunteers will finish in sole possession of fifth place at 8-8. The third-place tie between Georgia and Vanderbilt at 9-7 will be broken in favor of the Commodores, leaving the Bulldogs as the fourth seed from the East.
If, on the other hand, the Big Orange beat the Big Blue in Knoxville, there will be a four-way snarl of 9-7 teams claiming a share of second place, and the tiebreakers will operate against the Red and Black, stranding the Fox Hounds at the fifth spot in the standings.
Each No. 4 seed will face the No. 5 seed from the opposite division in the first round of the SEC Tournament on March 10. The Eastern Division fourth seed will open against Western Division fifth seed Auburn at 1:00 on Thursday afternoon. The winner of that game will face Alabama at 1:00 on Friday afternoon, with the victor to take on the club that prevailed in the second-round matchup featuring the second seed out of the East. That semifinal game will take place at 1:00 on Saturday.
The Eastern Division fifth seed, on the other hand, will open against Western Division fourth seed Arkansas at 7:30 on Thursday night. The winner of that game will face Florida at 7:30 on Friday night, with the victor to take on the club that prevailed in the second-round matchup featuring Mississippi State. That semifinal game will take place at 3:30 on Saturday.
For Georgia to finish fourth in the East, Kentucky would have to finish second in the division. That means the Bulldogs would face the Plainsmen, the Crimson Tide, and possibly the Wildcats as a fourth seed. As a fifth seed, by contrast, the Red and Black would encounter the Razorbacks, the Gators, and possibly the Bulldogs. Clearly, the former course is preferable, although it is hard to imagine the Athenians losing in the first round or winning in the second round under either scenario.
The bottom line is that hailtogeorgia is right: Bulldog Nation must give voice to its inner Ashley Judd and pull for Kentucky this afternoon.
Go ‘Dawgs! . . . and go ‘Cats!