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Scenarios abound for SEC men's basketball teams as final regular-season games approach

Thursday, March 6, 2014 | 8:06 p.m. CST; updated 8:34 p.m. CST, Thursday, March 6, 2014

COLUMBIA — Missouri’s comeback victory against Texas A&M on Wednesday night, for now, saved any realistic chance the team has at securing an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. But before that comes the Southeastern Conference Tournament next week in Atlanta, Ga.

The win against the Aggies has the Tigers (21-9, 9-8 SEC) in a tie for sixth in the league with LSU. Although each team has one regular season game remaining, two seeds are secured: Florida has the No. 1 seed, and Kentucky has the No. 2 seed. Missouri can finish as high as the No. 4 seed, or as low as the No. 9 seed for next week’s tournament.

Before looking at the potential regular season outcomes, here’s an explanation of how the seeding process works.

From the SEC Digital Network: The top four seeds receive a double bye and won’t play until next Friday’s quarterfinals. Seeds 5-10 receive a bye into the second round next Thursday. The bottom four seeds (11-14) begin play in the first round next Wednesday.

Here’s how tiebreakers would be decided.

In the case of a two-team tie:

1. Results of head-to-head competitions between the two teams.

2. Record of the two teams against the No. 1 seed, proceeding through to the No. 14 seed if necessary.

3. Coin flip by the SEC commissioner.

In the case of a tie between three or more teams:

1. Best winning percentage of the games played against the tied teams.

2. Best winning percentage of the tied teams against the No. 1 seed, proceeding through to the No. 14 seed if necessary.

3. If two teams remain, coin flip by the SEC commissioner.

4. If three or more teams remain, draw by the SEC commissioner.

***

Here are the current standings, along with each team’s potential finishing position.

1. Florida (17-0 SEC)

Remaining game: vs. Kentucky

Possible seed: The Gators have already clinched the No. 1 seed and a double bye.

2. Kentucky (12-5 SEC)

Remaining game: at Florida

Possible seed: The Wildcats, having defeated Georgia, have clinched the No. 2 seed and a double bye.

3. Georgia (11-6 SEC)

Remaining game: at LSU

Possible seed: The Bulldogs can finish as high as the No. 3 seed, or as low as the No. 5 seed. A win against LSU secures the No. 3 seed for Georgia. If the Bulldogs finish tied with Tennessee, the Volunteers own the tiebreaker. Georgia split its two matchups with Arkansas.

4.Tennessee (10-7 SEC)

Remaining game: vs. Missouri

Possible seed: A win against Missouri clinches a double bye for the Volunteers, who can finish as high as the No. 3 seed, or as low as the No. 6 seed.

5. Arkansas (10-7 SEC)

Remaining game: at Alabama

Possible seed: To secure the fourth double bye, Arkansas must win Saturday and have Tennessee lose. The Razorbacks can finish as high as the No. 3 seed (they hold the two-way tiebreaker over Georgia) or as low as the No. 6 seed.

6. LSU (9-8 SEC)

Remaining game: Georgia

Possible seed: LSU can finish as high as the No. 5 seed because they cannot win a tiebreaker with any potential 4-seed or as low as the No. 9 seed. The Tigers will begin play in the tournament’s second round.

7. Missouri (9-8 SEC)

Remaining game: at Tennessee

Possible seed: Missouri can finish as high as the No. 4 seed with a win against Tennessee and an Arkansas loss. In the event of a four-way tie, Missouri would hold the tiebreaker for the last double bye over Arkansas, LSU and Tennessee. With a loss to Tennessee, the Tigers could finish as low as the No. 9 seed.

8. Texas A&M (8-9 SEC)

Remaining game: Auburn

Possible seed: Texas A&M is guaranteed a single bye and will begin play in the second round.

9. Mississippi (8-9 SEC)

Remaining game: Vanderbilt

Possible seed: Ole Miss is guaranteed a single bye and will begin play in the second round.

10. Vanderbilt (7-10 SEC)

Remaining game: at Ole Miss

Possible seed: Vanderbilt can finish as high as the No. 8 seed with a win and Texas A&M loss, or as low as the No. 11 seed with a loss and an Alabama win. The Crimson Tide have the tiebreaker over the Commodores.

11. Alabama (6-11 SEC)

Remaining game: Arkansas

Possible seed: Alabama can finish as high as the No. 10 seed with a win and a Vanderbilt loss or as low as the No. 12 seed depending on records against higher seeds in the event of a two-way tie with Auburn.

12. Auburn (5-12 SEC)

Remaining game: at Texas A&M

Possible seed: Auburn can finish no lower than the No. 12 seed, and could get the No. 11 seed depending upon records against higher seeds in the event of a two-way tie with Alabama. The Tigers will play a first-round game.

13. South Carolina (4-13 SEC)

Remaining game: at Mississippi State

Possible seed: South Carolina clinches the No. 13 seed with a win Saturday. A loss gives the Gamecocks the No. 14 seed. The Gamecocks will play a first-round game.

14. Mississippi State (3-14 SEC)

Remaining game: South Carolina

Possible seed: With a win Saturday, Mississippi State will finish as the No. 13 seed. A loss means the No. 14 seed for the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs will play a first-round game.

Supervising editor is Sean Morrison.


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