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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: The Path to the SEC Title is Murky

© Denny Medley | USATSI

© Denny Medley | USATSI

Once Kentucky lost to LSU last week, their path to the SEC regular season title really became far more difficult.  Beating Tennessee certainly was a must but the schedule setup for LSU to have the easiest path to the title.  With their loss to Florida on Wednesday suddenly things have really been thrown into chaos and Tennessee probably has the inside track, up 1 game on both LSU and Kentucky.  Here are the current standings and remaining schedule:

Current Standings
Tennessee 12-1 (at LSU, at Ole Miss, Kentucky, Miss State, at Auburn)
LSU 11-2 (Tennessee, Texas A&M, at Alabama, at Florida, Vanderbilt)
Kentucky 11-2 (Auburn, Arkansas, at Tennessee, at Ole Miss, Florida)

Obviously the game in Baton Rouge on Saturday will be the first key domino.  So let’s run through some scenarios based on that game:

Tennessee: Will be up 2 games on LSU and have the tiebreaker over the Tigers.  If they beat UK in Knoxville, they would have to lose the other 3 games on their schedule to not be the #1 seed.

Kentucky: The Cats would have to win in Knoxville to even things up in the standings, plus they would own the tiebreaker over the Vols.  It would then come down to the other 3/4 games on each team’s schedule.

LSU: Would need either 2 losses from Tennessee and 1 loss from Kentucky to have a chance.  But it would benefit the Tigers if Kentucky LOST to Tennessee in Knoxville.

Tennessee: Vols would need win over Kentucky and no other losses to have reasonable shot since LSU would hold tiebreaker.  They would still need another LSU loss to get the #1 seed.

Kentucky: They would need win in Knoxville and additional LSU loss to win the title, assuming all other games are wins.

LSU: Would hold tiebreaker over both UT and UK and thus their destiny would be entirely in their hands.

If you are Kentucky, you would like LSU to win this weekend for 2 reasons.  First, I think the Tigers are more likely to slip up in their other games than Tennessee.  And secondly, it would put UK’s chances more firmly in their own hands, needing a win in Knoxville to feel good about things.  If Tennessee wins, they are very likely to win the SEC, barring a UK win in Knoxville and no other losses.

Either way, it’s very exciting to see a 3-team race to the end of the SEC season.  It hasn’t happened very often in the Calipari era and it feels good to play some games that really matter in this conference in March.


Article written by Bryan the Intern

6 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: The Path to the SEC Title is Murky

  1. shepdog3720
    10:55 am February 22, 2019 Permalink

    I am selfishly looking at NCAA tourney seeding and the best way as of today for us to get a #1 seed is for UT to lose, and for that reason I am an LSU fan tomorrow. The South Region seeding and a trip through the YUM Center in Louisville trumps all else, in my opinion.

    • turkeyleg88
      11:03 am February 22, 2019 Permalink

      Do you want a #1 seed or do you want to play in Louisville? Because I don’t think both things will happen. Virginia and Duke are very likely to be the top two #1 seeds and will likely get the DC and Louisville Regionals. If we get a #1 seed, I think we go to the midwest in KC. I would prefer Tennessee gets the one seed in the midwest and we get the 2 seed in the Louisville Regional which is why I’m rooting for Tennessee.

      11:23 am February 22, 2019 Permalink

      ^^^I agree with Turkey^^^

  2. Aar
    11:45 am February 22, 2019 Permalink

    I agree with Turkey as well.

  3. plumloopy
    2:09 pm February 22, 2019 Permalink

    I had this issue when A&M beat us (on that ridiculous technical foul) at their home court. If two team do not play a home/away, that should not be a tiebreaker or it should be much further down the list of tiebreakers. Only if the home team in the one game series loses should it really be considered.

  4. J. Did
    5:00 pm February 22, 2019 Permalink

    Apparently, BTI was not privy to the conversations with KSR staff Aaron Torres’ article on the path.