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How Tennessee can still win the SEC regular season title: Scenarios, Remaining Schedules, BPI Prediction

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Don’t hit the panic button, the Vols are still in decent position to take the conference title.

NCAA Basketball: Gonzaga at Tennessee Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The race for the SEC Championship is really starting to heat up. The three team race between Kentucky, Tennessee, and LSU will be a nail-bitter till the finish; with all 3 teams in for a unpredictable end of the regular season.

The Vols lost to both of the other finalists, with a 86-69 loss in Rupp Arena to Kentucky and a 82-80 heart breaker and very controversial loss in overtime to LSU. So, what can the Vols do to clinch the SEC for the second straight year? Keep in mind the final four games of the season are AT Ole Miss, Kentucky, Mississippi State, and AT Auburn.

If the Vols win out

The first scenario that could happen is simple, If Tennessee wins out they will clinch a share of the SEC Title with LSU. If LSU losses one of their 3 remaining games (AT Alabama, AT Florida, Vanderbilt), Tennessee will win the SEC outright. The exact same thing can be said for Kentucky, if they were to win out.

If the Vols finish 3-1

If Tennessee finishes 3-1, it would not be the end of the world. If the one loss was to Kentucky, Tennessee would need the Cats to drop a game (AT Ole Miss and Florida), as well as for LSU to drop one more. This would cause a three-way tie for the title, and Tennessee, Kentucky, and LSU would all be crowned co-SEC Champs. If the one loss was not to Kentucky, Tennessee would still need LSU to drop a game, but they would still end up in a three-way tie for the conference.

If the Vols finish 2-2 or below

First off, with this team, I would be absolutely shocked if they lost 2 or more games to finish the season. But if somehow it did happen, Tennessee would need Kentucky and LSU to lose two more games just to get a share of the title. But let’s be honest, that just isn't going to happen.

ESPN’s BPI Prediction

  • ESPN’s Basketball Power Index predicts the Vols will beat Ole Miss (73.2%), Kentucky (60.4%), and Mississippi State (82.9%). However, they predict Auburn will beat Tennessee (54.2%), to finish 3-1.
  • As for Kentucky, the BPI predicts the Wildcats will take care of Ole Miss (76.8%), and Florida (88.5%). Yet they will fall to Tennessee in Knoxville, as I already mentioned.
  • Meanwhile, the BPI predicts the LSU Tigers to beat Alabama (57.0%), and Vanderbilt (93.1%). Fortunately, they also predict Florida to take down LSU at home (62.6%).

If ESPN’s BPI predictions come out true, Tennessee, LSU, and Kentucky will all share the SEC Title. In the SEC Tournament LSU would be the 1 seed, Tennessee would be the 2 seed, and Kentucky would be 3 seed.