If the SEC Tournament started today, Kentucky would be the No. 8 seed playing No. 9 Mississippi State in the early game on Thursday.
Saturday’s games shook up the standings considerably. LSU beat Tennessee, knocking the Volunteers out of the top four/coveted double-bye. Kentucky’s win and Mississippi State and Georgia’s losses boosted the Cats to the No. 8 seed, just behind Ole Miss. The double-bye is still likely out of Kentucky’s reach, but with games vs. Ole Miss and Tennessee remaining, the Cats can secure a spot in the top half of the middle of the pack.
Auburn self-imposed a postseason ban and is therefore not eligible for the SEC Tournament.
1. Alabama (12-1, .923)
2. LSU (8-4, .667)
3. Arkansas (8-4, .667)
4. Florida (6-4, .600)
5. Tennessee (7-5, .583)
6. Missouri (6-5, .545)
7. Ole Miss (7-6, .538)
8. Kentucky (5-7, .417)
9. Mississippi State (5-8, .384)
10. Georgia (5-8, .384)
11. South Carolina (3-7, .300)
12. Texas A&M (2-6, .250)
13. Vanderbilt (2-8, .200)
Here is the bracket as of today, Feb. 15:
Kentucky beat Mississippi State earlier this season, so that’s an enticing second round draw, but there’s Alabama waiting in the quarterfinals. Gulp.
Some SEC Tournament related notes…
The SEC is starting to shuffle the schedule for postponements
Over a dozen league games have been postponed due to COVID-19. Yesterday, the SEC started to shuffle things around to make sure every team plays 18 conference games, even if it means changing matchups. The league scheduled LSU vs. Ole Miss for Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET on ESPNU even though the Tigers already won once in Oxford this season, a 75-61 victory back on Jan. 9.
“This scheduling of games allows for the continued opportunity for all 14 SEC teams to each play 18 conference games with a balance of home and away games during the 2021 season,” the league’s press release said.
What does this mean for Kentucky? If Ole Miss loses to LSU and Kentucky beats Vandy, the Cats would inch closer to moving past the Rebels in the conference standings. Avoiding Alabama in the quarterfinals would be nice.
Remaining schedules for the “middle of the pack”
Of the teams projected to play on Thursday, who has the easiest path left?
No. 5 seed Tennessee
- Feb. 16: vs. South Carolina (No. 11 seed)
- Feb. 20: vs. Kentucky (No. 8 seed)
- Feb. 24: at Vanderbilt (No. 13 seed)
- Feb. 27: at Auburn (Not eligible)
No. 6 seed Missouri
- Feb. 16: at Georgia (No. 10 seed)
- Feb. 20: at South Carolina (No. 11 seed)
- Feb. 23: vs. Ole Miss (No. 7 seed)
- Feb. 27: vs. Texas A&M (No. 12 seed)
- March 3: at Florida (No. 4 seed)
No. 7 seed Ole Miss
- Feb. 17: vs. LSU (No. 2 seed)
- Feb. 10: vs. Mississippi State (No. 9 seed)
- Feb. 23: at No. 20 Missouri (No. 6 seed)
- Feb. 27: at Vanderbilt (No. 13 seed)
- March 2: vs. Kentucky (No. 8 seed)
No. 8 seed Kentucky
- Feb. 17: at Vanderbilt (No. 13 seed)
- Feb. 20: at No. 19 Tennessee (No. 5 seed)
- Feb. 23: vs. Texas A&M (No. 12 seed)
- Feb. 27: vs. Florida (No. 4 seed)
- March 2: at Ole Miss (No. 7 seed)
No. 9 seed Mississippi State
- Feb. 16: at Auburn (Not eligible)
- Feb. 20: at Ole Miss (No. 7 seed)
- Feb. 24: vs. South Carolina (No. 11 seed)
- Feb. 27: vs. No. 8 Alabama (No. 1 seed)
- March 3: at Texas A&M (No. 12 seed)
No. 10 seed Georgia
- Feb. 16: vs. No. 20 Missouri (No. 6 seed)
- Feb. 20: at Florida (No. 4 seed)
- Feb. 23: vs. LSU (No. 2 seed)
- Feb. 27: vs. South Carolina (No. 11 seed)
No. 11 seed South Carolina
- Feb. 16: at No. 19 Tennessee (No. 5 seed)
- Feb. 20: vs. No. 20 Missouri (No. 6 seed)
- Feb. 24: at Mississippi State (No. 9 seed)
- Feb. 27: at Georgia (No. 10 seed)
- March 2: vs. No. 24 Arkansas (No. 3 seed)
And that’s without the postponed games, if they ever get rescheduled.
Just keep winning, Kentucky.