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SEC Tournament Watch: Seeding Scenarios

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Going into the final Saturday of the regular season, Anchor of Gold breaks down all the possible scenarios for the SEC Tournament, which starts next Wednesday.

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Seventeen conference games, and it's come to this.  Saturday marks the end of the SEC's regular season, and with one game to go we look at the various seeding scenarios for the SEC Tournament starting on Wednesday.

For simplicity's sake, we are breaking down the conference into three separate groups: the top four seeds (for which five teams are in contention -- though one of those needs a lot of help); the middle of the pack (seeds 5 through 10); and the bottom three teams (which are locked into those positions.)

The Top Four

Kentucky 12 5
Texas A&M 12 5
LSU 11 6
Vanderbilt 11 6
South Carolina 10 7

This one isn't terribly complicated. On Saturday, Vanderbilt is at Texas A&M and LSU is at Kentucky; the Aggies and the Wildcats are already locked into a double-bye in the SEC Tournament.  South Carolina needs to win at Arkansas and have either LSU or Vanderbilt (or both) lose to get a top-four seed.

Here are the scenarios for the top four seeds (and fifth, if South Carolina wins):

  • Texas A&M, Kentucky, South Carolina win: Texas A&M #1, Kentucky #2, South Carolina #3, LSU #4, Vanderbilt #5
  • Texas A&M, Kentucky, Arkansas win: Texas A&M #1, Kentucky #2, LSU #3, Vanderbilt #4
  • Texas A&M, LSU, South Carolina win: Texas A&M #1, LSU #2, Kentucky #3, South Carolina #4, Vanderbilt #5
  • Texas A&M, LSU, Arkansas win: Texas A&M #1, LSU #2, Kentucky #3, Vanderbilt #4
  • Vanderbilt, Kentucky, South Carolina win: Kentucky #1, Vanderbilt #2, Texas A&M #3, South Carolina #4, LSU #5
  • Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Arkansas win: Kentucky #1, Vanderbilt #2, Texas A&M #3, LSU #4
  • Vanderbilt & LSU win (regardless of South Carolina result): LSU #1, Vanderbilt #2, Texas A&M #3, Kentucky #4

The Middle of the Pack

South Carolina 10 7
Arkansas 9 8
Georgia 9 8
Ole Miss 9 8
Alabama 8 9
Florida 8 9

There are four games affecting this group on Saturday: Alabama at Georgia, South Carolina at Arkansas, Ole Miss at Tennessee, and Florida at Missouri.

With this many games in play, there are obviously a lot of possible scenarios: 16, to be exact.  Note that if South Carolina wins, they may be higher than the #5 seed (see above scenarios); the #5 indicates that that is their worst possible seed.

There are a couple of tiebreakers which will come down to the ordering of the top four seeds; those are denoted at the bottom.

  • South Carolina, Georgia, Ole Miss, Florida: South Carolina #5, Ole Miss #6*, Georgia #7*, Florida #8, Arkansas #9, Alabama #10
  • South Carolina, Georgia, Ole Miss, Missouri: South Carolina #5, Ole Miss #6*, Georgia #7*, Arkansas #8, Alabama #9, Florida #10
  • South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida: South Carolina #5, Georgia #6, Florida #7, Ole Miss #8, Arkansas #9, Alabama #10
  • South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri: South Carolina #5, Georgia #6, Ole Miss #7, Arkansas #8, Alabama #9, Florida #10
  • South Carolina, Alabama, Ole Miss, Florida: South Carolina #5, Ole Miss #6, Florida #7, Alabama #8, Arkansas #9, Georgia #10
  • South Carolina, Alabama, Ole Miss, Missouri: South Carolina #5, Ole Miss #6, Alabama #7**, Arkansas #8**, Georgia #9**, Florida #10
  • South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida: South Carolina #5, Florida #6, Ole Miss #7, Alabama #8, Georgia #9, Arkansas #10
  • South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Missouri: South Carolina #5, Ole Miss #6, Georgia #7, Arkansas #8, Alabama #9, Florida #10
  • Arkansas, Georgia, Ole Miss, Florida: Georgia #5, Ole Miss #6, Arkansas #7, South Carolina #8, Florida #9, Alabama #10
  • Arkansas, Georgia, Ole Miss, Missouri: Georgia #5, Ole Miss #6, Arkansas #7, South Carolina #8, Alabama #9, Florida #10
  • Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida: Georgia #5, Arkansas #6, South Carolina #7, Florida #8, Ole Miss #9, Alabama #10
  • Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri: Georgia #5, Arkansas #6, South Carolina #7, Ole Miss #8, Alabama #9, Florida #10
  • Arkansas, Alabama, Ole Miss, Florida: South Carolina #5, Arkansas #6, Ole Miss #7, Alabama #8, Florida #9, Georgia #10
  • Arkansas, Alabama, Ole Miss, Missouri: South Carolina #5, Arkansas #6, Ole Miss #7, Alabama #8, Georgia #9, Florida #10
  • Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida: Arkansas #5, South Carolina #6, Florida #7, Alabama #8, Ole Miss #9, Georgia #10
  • Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, Missouri: Arkansas #5, South Carolina #6, Ole Miss #7, Alabama #8, Georgia #9, Florida #10

*Where Ole Miss and Georgia are tied, the tiebreaker comes down to head-to-head against the #1 seed moving down through the seed order.  If Vanderbilt finishes ahead of South Carolina, Ole Miss wins the tiebreaker; if South Carolina finishes ahead of Vanderbilt, Georgia wins the tiebreaker.

**Where Alabama, Arkansas, and Georgia are tied, the tiebreaker can't be broken on head-to-head.  This seeding assumes that Texas A&M finishes ahead of both Vanderbilt and LSU in the standings.  If either Vanderbilt or LSU finishes first of that group, the order is Arkansas-Alabama-Georgia.

The Bottom Three

Mississippi State 6 11
Tennessee 6 11
Auburn 5 12

Two of these teams are going to be playing on Wednesday night -- and so would the third, if only Missouri were eligible for the tournament.

On Saturday, Auburn is at Mississippi State for those two teams' only regular season meeting, while Tennessee hosts Ole Miss.  If the Vols win, they're the #11 seed, and the Auburn-Mississippi State game is only to decide who will wear their home uniforms in a rematch on Wednesday night.

If Tennessee loses, Mississippi State can get the #11 seed by beating Auburn; that would leave Tennessee as the #12 seed and Auburn as the #13 seed.  Should Tennessee lose and Auburn win, Mississippi State would be the #13 seed (having previously lost to Tennessee in their only meeting), and the #11 seed would come down to the Kentucky/LSU game.  In this scenario, if Kentucky wins, Auburn is the #11 seed and Tennessee is #12; reverse those if LSU wins.

Missouri

Sorry, Missouri.  You don't get to play.