Too Close to Call

With a day to play there are four teams vying for the two spots remaining in the Southeastern Conference baseball tournament next week in Tuscaloosa.

The Crimson Tide clinched a berth in the tournament on Saturday, and now the Tide can aim for the SEC Western Division title on Sunday.

For Bama to win the West three things must happen on Sunday:

1. Alabama must beat Auburn
2. Mississippi State must beat LSU
3. Arkansas must beat Ole Miss

If all three of those things happen Alabama will be the No. 2 seed in the SEC Tournament and will play at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning at the Hoover Met.

Otherwise, Alabama will either the No. 4 or No. 5 seed in the tournament and will play at 8 p.m. in Hoover.

In addition to playing for a divisional title and higher seed, Alabama could take additional satisfaction in dashing Auburn's chances to get into the tournament with a win Sunday.

In addition to Alabama, teams that have clinched spots in the SEC tournament are Florida, Tennessee, LSU, Ole Miss and South Carolina.

Kentucky and Georgia have been mathematically eliminated.

That leaves Auburn battling with Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and Arkansas for the final two spots in Hoover.

Because Mississippi State had a conference game rained out that will not be made up, the Bulldogs are the only team among the four in control of its own destiny entering Sunday's games.

With a day to play there are still more more than half a dozen tiebreaker scenarios among Auburn, Vanderbilt and Arkansas. If those teams are locked in a three-way tie, the tiebreaker used will be each team's record against the SEC's best team.

The complexity is in the fact that there are still two teams (Florida and Tennessee) alive for the overall SEC title.

Also, depending on what Mississippi State does, the three could be vying for either one or two spots.

If the Bulldogs win, Auburn would lose out in the three-way tiebreaker regardless of who the SEC champion is.

If the Bulldogs lose, then Auburn would gain entry to the tournament in all tie scenarios.

Auburn and Vanderbilt have not played a series head-to-head, so Auburn would win a tiebreaker with Vanderbilt if Florida is the league winner but would lose it if Tennessee finishes the league's best record.

Auburn has the head-to-head advantage over Arkansas.

Conference Standings Entering Sunday's Games:

SEC East SEC Record Games Back
*Florida 19-10 -
*Tennessee 18-10 .5
*South Carolina 15-14 4
Vanderbilt 13-16 6
xGeorgia 11-17 7.5
xKentucky 7-21 11.5

* clinched SEC Tourney Berth
x eliminated from SEC Tourney

SEC West SEC Record Game's Back
*LSU 17-12 -
*Ole Miss 17-12 -
*Alabama 16-13 1
Mississippi State 13-15 3.5
Auburn 13-16 4
Arkansas 13-16 4

* clinched SEC Tourney Berth
x eliminated from SEC Tourney

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