The ladies have full control of their own destiny.
After taking care of business against the No. 17 Georgia Bulldogs on Thursday night, 62-58, the No. 19 Kentucky Wildcats Women’s Basketball Team (16-6, 9-5 in SEC) is now in prime position to secure a double-bye for next week’s SEC Tournament down in Greenville, SC. With only one regular-season game remaining on the 2020-21 schedule, it’s win and you’re in (the top four). The tournament will run from March 3-7.
Here is a look at the conference standings as of Feb. 26.
As you can see, seeds 3-5 are quite compact.
Kentucky will host Ole Miss this coming Sunday in what will be the Wildcats’ Senior Day. The Rebels are the second-worst team in the Southeastern Conference in terms of record (3-10) when you exclude Vanderbilt, who put an end to its season earlier in the year. A loss wouldn’t necessarily put an end to UK’s chances of a double-bye, but it would force one of Georgia or Tennessee to lose in order for Kentucky to sneak in (all three programs have one game remaining on its schedule with no plans to make up previously postponed contests).
Georgia will play Florida (3-10 in SEC) on the road in the Bulldogs’ final outing while Tennessee will host Auburn (0-14 in SEC). There’s a high chance both UGA and UT win those games. If Kentucky were to lose to Ole Miss (remember: the ‘Cats fell to the Rebels in the first meeting this season in what was arguably the biggest collapse of the year for UK), this is where it could get confusing.
For starters, if Kentucky losses while both Tennessee and Georgia win, the ‘Cats will not earn the double-bye. Simple as that. But if UK losses and so does one of UT or UGA, it gets tricky–what makes things even more complicated is the fact that the Lady Vols will have played two fewer conference games than Kentucky or Georgia.
For example, let’s say Tennesse wins while Kentucky and Georgia both lose. That would put the final conference records for all three teams at nine wins, however, UK and UGA would have six losses while UT would have just four. Kentucky would hold the tiebreaker over Georgia (and Arkansas, who could also finish with a 9-6 conference record if they win on Sunday) after the win on Thursday, but Tennessee would technically own a better win-percentage, which would give them the three-seed and Kentucky the four-seed.
Now if Georgia wins while both Tennessee and Kentucky lose, UK would fall to the five-seed and outside of the double-bye. If all three lose, Kentucky would hold onto the four-seed with Tennessee taking the three-seed.
But again, win and you’re in. Tipoff is scheduled for Sunday at noon EST on the SEC Network.