Florida visits Tennessee, SEC Tournament seeding on the line
A look at the final weekend in the Southeastern Conference:
GAME OF THE WEEKEND
Florida (13-7, 9-6) at Tennessee (16-7, 9-7). Sunday’s rematch, rescheduled from Feb. 10 in Knoxville, concludes the SEC regular season on a weekend left open to make up postponed games. A Volunteers victory claims a first-round bye, while the Gators could earn the No. 3 seeding with a win and a LSU loss at Missouri. Florida aims to rebound from Wednesday’s last-second, 72-70 loss to Missouri. Tennessee also looks to bounce back after falling out of the rankings with a five-point loss at Auburn last weekend. The Volunteers have lost two of three but remain the league’s stingiest defense, allowing just 63.1 points per game overall and 67.1 in SEC play. Florida beat then-No. 6 Tennessee 75-49 in the season’s first meeting in Gainesville, beginning a Vols slide in which they lost three of five.
LSU visits Missouri on Saturday, postponed from Jan. 9, while Auburn hosts Mississippi State after being originally scheduled on Feb. 16. Texas A&M, which had all eight games postponed last month, travels to No. 12 Arkansas to make up a Feb. 20 meeting. South Carolina visits Kentucky to make up a Dec. 29 game.
No. 8 Alabama at Georgia and Vanderbilt at Mississippi are new, added last month to mirror the site of previous matchups and help balance teams’ home and away schedules. Vandy and Ole Miss are meeting on consecutive Saturdays, a week after the ‘Dores’ 75-70 road win in Oxford despite missing leading scorer Scotty Pippen Jr.
Alabama clinched its eighth SEC regular season title and first since 2002 with Saturday’s 64-59 win at Mississippi State. It’s the first time since the 1975-76 academic year the school has won conference titles in men’s basketball and football. The top-seeded Crimson Tide earned a double bye into next Friday’s SEC Tournament quarterfinals, two years after being the No. 10 seed.
Moses Moody, Arkansas. The freshman guard and Razorbacks’ leading scorer (17.0 points per game) tied a career high with 28 in Tuesday night’s 101-73 rout at South Carolina. He has averaged 20.0 points over his past five outings. Moody was 10 of 15 shooting against the Gamecocks, including 4 of 9 from long range, and made all four free throws to set a program freshman record with 120 made. Two games earlier, he made 16 of 19 from the line for 24 points on the way to earning freshman of the week honors. The No. 12 Razorbacks (20-5, 12-4) enter Saturday’s regular season finale against Texas A&M having won their past 10 SEC games and last seven overall, including a win over Alabama.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Three LSU players posted triple doubles in Tuesday’s 83-68 win over Vanderbilt, led by Cameron Thomas’ 23 points and 10 rebounds. Trendon Watford’s season-high 13 boards helped the Tigers dominate the Commodores 51-29 on the glass. … Kentucky was a season-worst minus-14 in rebounding margin in a 70-62 loss at Ole Miss that ensured its first losing SEC finish since 8-10 in 1988-89. … Alabama guard Jahvon Quinerly has scored in double digits the past eight games, including 19 points off the bench at Mississippi State last weekend.
ON THE WOMEN’S SIDE
Top-seeded and No. 2 Texas A&M (22-1, 13-1) opens SEC Tournament play on Friday in Greenville, South Carolina, against No. 8 seed LSU. The Aggies have won 10 in a row, including Sunday’s 65-57 victory over No. 2 seed South Carolina that clinched their first-ever SEC regular season championship. ... No. 6 seed Arkansas (19-7, 9-6), which faced No. 11 Mississippi late Thursday, enters as the league’s second-hottest team with five consecutive wins.
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