In a rare Sunday SEC game, Kentucky fought off a Florida comeback to win 74-66 and ensure a perfect 18-0 home record. Darius Miller and Eric Bledsoe led the way for the 'Cats for a change, each scoring 14 points. Alex Tyus paced the Gators with 12 points, while Kenny Boynton managed 11 points on 5-14 shooting. Kentucky jumped out quickly and caught Florida flat footed, at one point enjoying an 18 point lead in the first half. UF staged a big comeback though, cutting the lead to as little as two at a couple of second half junctures. They ran out of gas though and UK was able to pull away to ensure the win.
Meanwhile in Starkville, Tennessee likely ended Mississippi State's at large hopes with an emphatic 75-59 win. Five different Vols went into double figures, led by J.P. Prince's 16 and Scotty Hopson's 14. Kodi Augustus was the high man for the Bulldogs with 15, but only Dee Bost and Jarvis Varnado also managed to get to double figures with 11 apiece. MSU came out flat and dropped a 21 point stink bomb in the first half. It didn't even score until 13:49 on the clock in the first half, by which point Tennessee already had 17 of their own. UT cruised from there.
Meanwhile in Nashville, South Carolina upset Vanderbilt to the tune of 77-73. Devan Downey broke out of a slump and poured in 26 points for the Gamecocks, who now own wins over Kentucky, Vanderbilt, and Florida. Sam Muldrow also had 20 for the visitors. Jermaine Beal led the Commodores with 21. It appeared Vandy was about to get another comeback win like it did recently over Florida and Georgia, but a late Downey three closed the door. It was a tough loss for a good team that appears to be dozing down the stretch.
Ole Miss inched closer to the tournament by not losing to Arkansas, 68-66. The Rebels' Chris Warren lit up the Hogs for 31 points, while Murphy Holloway stuffed the stat sheet with 11 rebounds, six assists, and three blocks. Rotnei Clarke led the Razorbacks with 13 points. One of Holloway's three blocks came in the final seconds against Julysses Nobles with just seconds left to preserve the win. The Rebels' win gave them the No. 2 West seed in the SEC tournament, a prize which gets them Kentucky in their second game should they win their first. For Arkansas, it ended the dream of an 8-8 conference record.
In Tuscaloosa, Alabama evened up the season series with Auburn by defeating the Tigers 73-61. It was a close contest for most of the game, but the Tide went on a 24-10 second half run that included a period of three scoreless minutes for the Plainsmen. Tony Mitchell was the high man for the home team with 16 points, while Auburn's Tay Waller was the high scorer for the game with 22. AU's DeWayne Reed also had 17 points. The difference in the game can really be seen in the shooting, as Alabama shot nearly 50% from the floor while Auburn hit just 35.5% of its field goals.
Finally, LSU picked up its second conference win of the eyar by edging out Georgia 50-48. Tasmin Mitchell was the star of his senior day, scoring 20 points. Bo Spencer contributed 10 points as well, including the game winning shot with 19 seconds to go. Trey Thompkins was great as usual for the Bulldogs, scoring 19 points and grabbing a beastly 16 rebounds. Neither team managed to shoot north of 37% from the field, though they were both sharp from the free throw line. The loss left UGA without an SEC road win on the season.
Kentucky, Vanderbilt, and Tennessee are all set for the tournament still, though Vandy's seeding likely will take a hit due to the loss. Florida is in the best shape of the bubble teams, with a respectable loss in Lexington being the next best thing to a win. The Mississippi schools don't appear to be in great shape though, with each likely to need improbable wins in the SEC tournament to make the NCAAs.