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By LARRY VAUGHT
Not only did Kentucky damage its NCAA Tournament resume with its loss at Georgia, but the Cats could also have made winning the SEC Tournament — and earning an automatic NCAA bid — a lot higher.
Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi and Alabama are all 11-7 in league play going into the final day of play Saturday. Kentucky will host Florida, and be a big underdog. Mississippi will play at LSU, a team that has played much better the second half of the season. Alabama plays at home against Georgia while Missouri, which has won only one SEC road game this year, ends the season at Tennessee.
Based on the way UK played against Arkansas and Georgia in its last two games, it’s hard to see the Cats beating Georgia. If Tennessee beats Missouri, that would leave all three teams at 11-7 in league play. If Alabama wins at home, it would be 12-6 and finish second behind Florida. If Mississippi loses at LSU, that would put the Rebels into the 11-7 bracket with UK, Tennessee and Missouri. Two of the four teams would get byes into Friday’s SEC play, two would have to play in the first round. If Ole Miss wins at LSU, it gets a bye and leaves Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri to figure out the tiebreaker for the final bye.
Guess what? UK would win the tiebreaker based on a 3-1 record against tied teams and still get a bye.
But unless UK finds more offense and fight, do you think it will even matter who or when UK plays in the SEC Tournament?