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Southeastern Conference Rundown: Crowd at the Top

This is going to be a wild finish as the top four teams in the SEC are separated by one game and only two games separate the teams in the Nos. 5-10 spots with just two games left to play.

The title is Auburn’s to lose but, as Saturday showed us, there is no such thing as a guaranteed win at this time of the season. Auburn, Kentucky and Tennessee all have a chance to finish undefeated to home.

SEC Conference Rundown
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Auburn currently holds down a No. 1 seed while Kentucky is a three seed in Jerry Palm’s latest March Madness predictions on the CBSSports.com site. Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee are also in contention to be top 16 seeds. LSU’s No. 17 strength of schedule should help when the selection committee looks at the Tigers’ body of work, while Florida, South Carolina, Mississippi State and Texas A&M still has work to do.

Kentucky (+650) is second only to Gonzaga in the odds to the national championship. Auburn (+1000), Arkansas (+5000), Tennessee (+5000), Alabama (+6000) and LSU (+7000) are other top SEC teams according to the March Madness predictions.

Game of the Week

LSU Tigers at Arkansas Razorbacks

Date, time, TV: Wednesday, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Arkansas and Louisiana State have split the last eight meetings, including LSU’s win in the semifinals of the 2021 SEC tournament. In the last seven regular-season meetings, the winning team won four times. Arkansas has covered in five of the last seven games in the series.

The last three games in the series went under the total, including a 65-58 win by Arkansas on Jan. 15. Eight of the last nine games between the teams have been decided by single digits.

LSU (20-9, 8-8 SEC) has covered in three of its last four games and has won four of the last six games, although the Tigers did drop their last two road games. Both teams have put themselves in a position to be a part of the March Madness bracket but the winner of this one will help their seeding for the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

Arkansas (23-6, 12-4) is 9-0-1 against the spread in its last 10 games. The Razorbacks are 13-1 in the last 14 games and are 3-1 in games decided by four points or less.

Arkansas tops the SEC in foul shots made (16.7 per game) and attempted (22.8). LSU’s 321 steals are the most in the conference.

Tennessee Volunteers at Georgia Bulldogs

Date, time, TV: Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network

Tennessee has won seven of its last eight games to move into a three-way tie for second place in the SEC. None of those wins were bigger than Saturday’s win over then-No. 3 Auburn, although it can’t be considered an upset since Tennessee was listed as a three-point favorite at home. The Volunteers have covered in five of the last seven games, with three of the last four going under the total.

Georgia (6-23, 1-15) has lost nine straight games and failed to cover in each of the last five. The Bulldogs’ last five games went over the total.

Tennessee (21-7, 12-4) has won three of the last four games against Georgia but is 1-7 against the college basketball spreads in the last eight meetings.

Georgia has won the last seven matchups as the home team and covered in six of them.

The Bulldogs are third in the SEC in field goal percentage but have attempted the fewest shots in the conference. Tennessee’s 243 3-pointers is second in the conference.

Ole Miss Rebels at Kentucky Wildcats

Date, time, TV: Tuesday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN

Kentucky saw its 11-game winning streak against Ole Miss snapped with an eight-point road loss in 2021, with Rebels favored by three points according to the Las Vegas odds. It was the third straight game in the series decided by eight points or less. Four of the last five games in the series went over the total.

Kentucky (23-6, 12-4) has split its last four games and is 1-2-1 against the spread in those games. The Wildcats are 17-0 at home but in 2022 are 3-4 against the spread.

Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe (-300) has emerged as the leader to be named the national player of the year. Auburn’s Jabari Smith (+4000) is the next SEC player on the list.

Ole Miss (13-16, 4-12) dropped six of its last seven games, with four of those losses by at least 10 points. Each of the Rebels’ last six games went over the total.

Ole Miss went 0-3 in February in games decided by single digits, including a pair of overtime losses. Kentucky went 3-1 in single-digit games in February.

Missouri Tigers at South Carolina Gamecocks

Date, time, TV: Tuesday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU

Missouri has won three of the last four games against South Carolina and covered in each of the victories. Five of the last six games in the series finished over the total.

Missouri won the most recent meeting at South Carolina, although the Gamecocks took three of the previous four games when they were the home team, which is something for those who bet online to consider.

South Carolina (17-11, 8-8) saw its four-game winning streak come to an end with a 19-point loss at Alabama the last time out. The Gamecocks are still in a four-way tie for sixth place in the SEC after coming into the season with the 10th-best odds to win the SEC title. South Carolina is 11-4 at home while Missouri is just 2-9 on the road.

Missouri (13-16, 4-12) has dropped its last five games and covered in just one of them to fall into a tie for 12th place in the SEC standings. Three of the last five losses have come by 19 points. Four of the Tigers’ last five games went under the total.

South Carolina is one of three SEC teams to average more than 13 offensive rebounds per game. Missouri has scored the fewest points in the SEC.

Florida Gators at Vanderbilt Commodores

Date, time, TV: Tuesday, 8:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network

Florida has won two of its last three games and six of the last nine to move into a tie for sixth place in the SEC standings and put itself in contention for an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament. The Gators are just 2-6 against the spread in the last eight games while six of the last eight games went under the total.

Vanderbilt (14-14, 6-10) has lost four of its last five contests but is 7-0-1 against the spread in its last eight. Eight of the Commodores’ last nine games went over the total.

Florida (18-11, 8-8) has won eight straight games against Vanderbilt, including a 61-42 win on Jan. 22 as a 6½-point favorite at home. The Gators are just 4-4 against the Las Vegas odds in those games while six of the last nine matchups went under the total.

Vanderbilt and Florida are 12th and 13th in the SEC in rebounds per game,

Texas A&M Aggies at Alabama Crimson Tide

Date, time, TV: Wednesday, 7 p.m. ET, SEC Network

Texas A&M has won three straight games against Alabama and covered in each of those wins. Two of those victories came in Tuscaloosa. Ten of the last 12 games in the series went under the total.

Alabama (19-10, 9-7) has had a bit of a bumpy ride but the Crimson Tide have won five of their last six to secure sole possession of fifth place in the SEC standings. Alabama is 13-2 at home and has won six of its last seven at home.

Texas A&M (18-11, 7-9) has won three of its last four games to move into 10th place in the SEC standings, but the Aggies are only a game out of sixth. They have covered in each of those three wins while the last three games all went over the total.

Alabama moved past Kentucky and leads the SEC in scoring at 80.5 points per game. Texas A&M’s 10.4 steals per game are second in the conference.

Auburn Tigers at Mississippi State Bulldogs

Date, time, TV: Wednesday, 9 p.m. ET, SEC Network

Despite its loss at Tennessee on Saturday, Auburn has a one-game lead atop the SEC standings, which isn’t too bad of a position to be in considering that the Tigers came into the season with the fifth-best odds to win the regular-season title.

The Tigers have split their last six games and failed to cover in each of the last three.

Auburn (25-4, 13-3) has won five of the last six games against Mississippi State, including two of the last three in Starkville. Each of the last four games in the series finished over the total.

Kentucky (+150) is listed second in the odds to reach the Final Four while Auburn (+225) is tied for fourth according to the March Madness odds.

Mississippi State (17-12, 8-8) has won three of its last four games but failed to cover in its last three, with the Bulldogs favored in each of those contests. Three of Mississippi State’s last four games finished under the total.

Auburn leads the SEC with 8.2 blocked shots per game, almost three more than its nearest competitor. Mississippi State is second in field goal percentage.

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