If the SEC men’s basketball tournament started Friday, South Carolina would the No. 11 seed, meaning no bye and a first round matchup with 14th-seeded Vanderbilt.
The Gamecocks (15-13, 6-9 SEC) have three games remaining, starting with Saturday’s trip to Mississippi State (20-8, 8-7). Time exists for significant movement. A look here at some possibilities:
▪ Should South Carolina finish 3-0 – beating the Bulldogs, LSU and Auburn – the Gamecocks can move to as high as the No. 7 seed. They’d need to catch a number of breaks, including both LSU and Arkansas losing out. The Tigers finish with Georgia (away), USC (away) and Mississippi State (home). The Razorbacks finish with Alabama (away), Auburn (home) and Missouri (away).
The seventh seed gets a first round bye and plays the No. 10 seed on March 8 (Thursday).
▪ South Carolina can also move to No. 7 with a 2-1 finish and a 0-3 finish from both Mississippi State and Arkansas. The Bulldogs finish with USC (home), Tennessee (home) and LSU (away). A 2-1 finish could also push the Gamecocks anywhere from the No. 8 seed to the No. 10 seed.
▪ Should South Carolina finish 0-3, the Gamecocks can drop to No. 14, the last seed in the tournament. This would involve a 2-1 finish from either Vandy, Ole Miss or Georgia. The Commodores finish with Texas A&M (home), Missouri (home) and the Rebels (away). Ole Miss finishes with Tennessee (home), Kentucky (away) and Vandy (home). UGA finishes with LSU (home), Texas A&M (home) and Tennessee (away).
The No. 14 seed plays the No. 11 seed on March 7 (Wednesday), the first day of the tournament. The winner of that game advances to face the No. 6 seed.
▪ South Carolina will likely be favored in one of its final three games – Wednesday’s home clash with LSU. Should the Gamecocks finish 1-2, a No. 11 or 12 seed is their likely destination.
If the SEC Tournament started Friday, these would be the seeds:
1. Auburn (12-3)
2. Tennessee (10-5)
3. Florida (8-7)
4. Kentucky (8-7)
5. Missouri (8-7)
6. Mississippi State (8-7)
7. Alabama (8-7)
8. Arkansas (8-7)
9. LSU (7-8)
10. Texas A&M (6-9)
11. South Carolina (6-9)
12. Georgia (6-9)
13. Ole Miss (5-10)
14. Vanderbilt (5-10)