SEC Tourney sneak peak

If the Southeastern Conference Tournament began today, Tennessee would start out in the pole position.

At 10-1 in SEC play, the Vols have a two-game lead on Kentucky (7-3) in the race for the No. 1 seeding in the Eastern Division. Assuming Tennessee holds on, the Vols will get a first-round bye when the league tournament begins March 13 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

If Kentucky retains its current standing as the No. 2 seed in the East, the Big Blue also would receive a first-round bye. Ditto for the top two seeds in the West – Mississippi State (8-2) and Arkansas (6-4).

Tennessee's opponent on March 14 would be the winner of the previous day's game between South Carolina and Ole Miss. Tennessee already beat South Carolina 80-56 in Columbia and faces the Gamecocks again in the regular-season finale March 9 at Knoxville. The Vols beat Ole Miss 85-83 in the SEC opener back on Jan. 9 at Knoxville.

Should the Vols win their opener they would play March 15 against either Arkansas, Vanderbilt or LSU. Tennessee thumped Arkansas 93-71 Feb. 13 in Knoxville. The Vols beat Vandy 80-60 Jan. 17 at Knoxville and face the Commodores again Feb. 26 at Nashville. Tennessee edged LSU 47-45 Feb. 9 at Baton Rouge.

Should Tennessee advance to the SEC championship game, its most likely opponent would be either Mississippi State (No. 1 seed from the West), Kentucky (No. 2 seed from the East), Auburn (No. 3 seed from the West) or Florida (No. 4 seed from the East).

Tennessee already beat Mississippi State 76-71 Feb. 2 at Starkville. The Vols lost to Kentucky 72-66 Jan. 22 at Lexington but get a rematch March 2 in Knoxville. UT plays Auburn Wednesday night at Knoxville. The Vols beat Florida 104-82 Feb 5 at Knoxville and face the Gators again March 5 at Gainesville.

Here's how the SEC Tournament shapes up, based on the current league standings:

March 13

1:00 – W4 Ole Miss (3-7) vs. E5 South Carolina (4-6)

3:15 – E3 Vanderbilt (7-4) vs. W6 LSU (2-8)

7:30 – E4 Florida (6-5) vs. W5 Alabama (3-8)

9:45 – W3 Auburn (3-7) vs. E6 Georgia (3-7)

MARCH 14

1:00 - Winner of Ole Miss- Carolina game vs. Tennessee

3:15 - Winner of Vandy-LSU game vs. Arkansas

7:30 - Winner of Florida-Alabama game vs. Mississippi State

9:45 - Winner of Auburn-Georgia game vs. Kentucky

MARCH 15

1:00 - Winner of previous day's 1 p.m. game vs. winner of 3:15 game

3:15 - Winner of previous day's 7:30 game vs. winner of 9:45 game

MARCH 16

1:00 - SEC Championship Game


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