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Thanks for nothing, Florida. Tennessee and LSU tied for the SEC lead with one game to play

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Here’s the situation.

Kentucky v Tennessee Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Tennessee’s loss to LSU in Baton Rouge a couple of weeks back may sting more now than it did at the time.

Needing a win from the Florida Gators last night, Tennessee watched as LSU came storming back late in Gainesville to regain the lead when it matter the most. But Jalen Hudson drilled a three with seven seconds left, giving the lead right back to Florida. Then the Gators allowed Tremont Waters to drive the length of the floor. His wild layup fell, evening up the score at 72 all and sending us to overtime.

Florida once again took LSU to the final possession, but failed to get a good look at the basket to win. Once again, LSU found a way to survive and remain tied with the Vols atop the SEC standings.

That means Tennessee will enter the final Saturday of the year needing a win for at least a co-championship in the league. As we saw last year, head to head victories don’t break ties in the overall standings.

What’s left

  • Tennessee at Auburn (12 p.m. ET)
  • Vanderbilt at LSU (7:30 p.m. ET)
  • Florida at Kentucky (2 p.m. ET)

As much as we would all love to see the Commodores pick up their first SEC win on Saturday, that’s probably not going to happen. Vanderbilt looked totally uninterested against Arkansas on their senior night Wednesday. Anything can happen, but I’m going to go ahead and declare that Tennessee will be playing for a shared title on Saturday.

SEC Tournament Seeding

Where that head to head win does matter for LSU is SEC Tournament seeding. The Tigers would get the nod over Tennessee for the No. 1 seed in the tournament, which is a big deal. With the league being a three team race at the top, the No. 1 seed holds a huge advantage simply because they wouldn’t have to face the No. 2 or No. 3 seed until the Sunday championship round.

That means a likely Tennessee-Kentucky rubber match on Saturday. Of course, each team would have a game to win on Friday first.

Bottomline

Tennessee is playing for a co-championship against Auburn on Saturday. A win and it’s theirs. A win would also secure a No. 1 or No. 2 seed, depending on the LSU-Vanderbilt outcome.

A Tennessee loss on Saturday along with a Kentucky win would give the Wildcats the No. 2 seed and kick the Vols to No. 3.