Familiar foes

If Tennessee and South Carolina don't see enough of one another in Sunday's regular-season finale at Thompson-Boling Arena, there's a good chance they'll get another look five days later.

With a 13-2 Southeastern Conference record and one game remaining, the Vols already have clinched the SEC's regular-season title and the Eastern Division's No. 1 seeding for the league tournament. As a result, they'll get a first-round bye when the conference tourney opens Thursday, March 13 in Atlanta.

After watching Day 1, Tennessee will play the 1 o'clock game on Friday, March 14. The opponent, based on the current seedings, will be the winner of the previous day's meeting between South Carolina and LSU. Neither shapes up to be a particularly favorable opponent for the Vols.

Assuming Tennessee wins Sunday's regular-season finale against South Carolina, the Vols would be trying to beat the Gamecocks for the third time this season and the second time in six days. Tennessee encountered this very scenario two years ago – beating SC twice during the regular season, then losing to the Gamecocks in the league tournament. Simply put, beating a team three times in a season is no simple task.

Playing LSU would be no walk in the park, either. The Tigers have staged a significant rally since Butch Pierre replaced John Brady as head coach on Feb. 8. Their first game under Pierre's guidance, in fact, saw them push Tennessee to the limit before bowing 47-45 in Baton Rouge.

After going 8-13 under Brady, LSU is 5-3 under Pierre and carries a four-game winning streak into its regular-season finale Saturday at Mississippi State.

What follows are the current SEC seedings, with one regular-season weekend remaining:


Seed Team ..... Game remaining

1. Tennessee (13-2) ..... vs. SC

2. Kentucky (11-4) ..... vs. UF

3. Vanderbilt (10-5) ..... at UA

4. Florida (8-7) ..... at UK

5. S.Carolina (5-10) ..... at UT

6. Georgia (4-11) ..... vs. UM


1. Miss. State (11-4) ..... vs. LSU

2. Arkansas (8-7) ..... vs. AU

3. Ole Miss (6-9) ..... at UGA

4. La. State (6-9) ..... at MSU

5. Auburn (4-11) ..... at Ark

6. Alabama (4-11) ..... vs. VU

Here is the way the SEC Tournament shapes up, based on the current projected seedings:

Thursday, March 13

1:00 - East 5 (South Carolina) vs. West 4 (LSU)

3:15 - West 6 (Alabama) vs. East 3 (Vanderbilt)

7:30 - West 5 (Auburn) vs. East 4 (Florida)

9:45 - East 6 (Georgia) vs. West 3 (Ole Miss)

Friday, March 14

1:00 - Tennessee vs. South Carolina-LSU winner

3:15 - Arkansas vs. Alabama-Vanderbilt winner

7:30 - Mississippi State vs. Auburn-Florida winner

9:45 - Kentucky vs. Georgia-Ole Miss winner

Saturday, March 15

1:00 - Tennessee, South Carolina or LSU vs. Arkansas, Alabama or Vanderbilt

3:15 - Mississippi State, Auburn or Florida vs. Kentucky, Georgia or Ole Miss

Sunday, March 16

1:00 - SEC Championship Game

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