February 29th, 2012 10:08 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Arkansas, Florida, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
Tags: Ole Miss, SEC, UF, VU
Score one for the road teams as Ole Miss surprised collapsing Arkansas in Fayetteville last night. In Nashville, the Commodores sent their seniors out as winners and pulled into second-place tie in the SEC with downtrodden Florida.
Ole Miss 77, Arkansas 75
After opening the season 17-0 at Bud Walton Arena, the Razorbacks dropped their third straight home game last night in a battle of teams likely fighting for an NIT bid. Making matters worse, Mike Anderson’s team blew a 15-point second-half lead.
The Rebels needed Terrance Henry’s three-point play — a bucket and a free throw — with 8.2 seconds remaining to steal the victory. Henry finished with a game-high 19 points. Ole Miss blew out LSU on Saturday and is suddenly riding a two-game winning streak after having dropped three in a row.
If you’re looking for consistency in the SEC, only Kentucky (good) and South Carolina (bad) offer it.
Vanderbilt 77, Florida 67
Florida’s struggles continued last night in Nashville as hot-shooting John Jenkins — six 3-pointers — gunned Vanderbilt to victory. The Commodores have now won five of their last seven with both losses coming in single-digits to top-ranked Kentucky. Translation: Vandy is playing its best basketball late.
The Gators are not. Florida had won three games in a row until Will Yeguete — so important to UF’s front court — broke a bone in his left foot. Since then Florida has fallen at Georgia in a bad 14-point loss Saturday and at Vandy.
Florida did show fight in last night’s game, twice getting within a point at about the five-minute mark, but Kevin Stallings team pulled away in the end
The Battle for the #2 Seed
The second seed in the SEC Tournament remains up for grabs at this point and there are still three team that can claim it, depending on tie-breakers:
* Florida can win with an upset of Kentucky at home on Sunday. If the Gators win and Vandy loses to Tennessee, the Gators will grab the #2 seed outright. If Vandy wins at Tennessee, both schools would finish with 11 SEC wins and the race would go to tie-breakers. The schools went 1-1 against each other head-to-head, so their records against top-seeded Kentucky would be taken into account next. UF would have beaten UK once while VU lost to the Cats in both their matchups. Bottom line: Beat Kentucky and Florida grabs the #2 seed.
* Vanderbilt can win the #2 seed with a win over Tennessee on Saturday coupled with a Kentucky win over Florida the next day. In that scenario, Vandy would finish with 11 league wins while UF would have only 10.
* Tennessee got the help it needed last night. For the Volunteers to grab the #2 seed — and it’s still shocking that the Volunteers can even talk about this at this point of the season — they needed Florida to lose twice. Vandy took care of the first one. If the Gators lose to Kentucky, the UF will finish with 10 SEC wins. If Tennessee beats LSU on the road tonight (tough) and then beats Vanderbilt at home on Saturday (tough), UT and Vandy would both close with 10 league wins as well. In a three-team tie-breaker, the winning percentage amongst the tied teams would decide the race. Tennessee would be 3-1 against UF and VU while those teams would 2-2 (VU) and 1-3 (UF). Also, the Vols would still grab the tie-breaker even if Alabama matches the other three with 10 league wins.
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