The South Carolina Gamecocks could not defend their home turf last night, losing to Alabama 79-70 in Columbia, SC.
This means that the Georgia Bulldogs remain in 5th place in the SEC East since they have 4 SEC East wins to South Carolina’s 3 (which is the tie-breaker used by the SEC since both teams have 5-10 conference records).
If the SEC tournament were to start today, Georgia would have the E5 seed and would play Auburn (W4 seed). The winner of this game would then get a date with what looks most likely to be Kentucky (E1 seed) in the second round.
South Carolina would have the E6 seed and would play Ole Miss (W3 seed) in round one, and then the winner of that game would most likely play Vanderbilt (E2 seed) in the second round.
This Saturday, the Gamecocks and Bulldogs both wrap up their seasons on the road. Carolina goes to Vandy, and the Dawgs head to Baton Rouge to take on LSU.
Here are the possible seed scenarios that could unravel following these two games:
Georgia beats LSU; South Carolina beats Vandy —> Georgia’s seed is E6; SC’s seed is E5
Georgia beats LSU; South Carolina loses to Vandy —> Georgia’s seed is E5; SC’s seed is E6
Georgia loses to LSU; South Carolina loses to Vandy —-> Georgia’s seed is E5; SC’s seed is E6
Georgia loses to LSU; South Carolina beats Vandy —-> Georgia’s seed is E6; SC’s seed is E5
In my opinion, the best scenario for Georgia would be to beat LSU and then take on the SEC West 4th seed. If the Dawgs could win these two games, it would put them at 15-15 before another rematch with Kentucky. Even if the Dawgs were to lose another close one (meaning the first game was close, not last night’s) to the ‘Cats, the NIT committee may extend an invite to Georgia since ESPN is in love with Travis Leslie and his high-flying acrobatics.
However, if Carolina were to pull off the upset in Nashville, then the Dawgs would get the SEC East 6th seed and would play either Ole Miss or Arkansas in the first round of the tournament. With Vanderbilt waiting in the second round, and Kentucky all the way on the other side of the bracket, this scenario gives Georgia the best chance at reaching the finals of the SEC tournament (and once you get to that point all bets are off).
So what is everyone rooting for?