SEC Tournament Day 1, Early Shift: Bubbles Bust and Build in Single-Elimination Games

PodKATT of And The Valley Shook

Kentucky and Auburn go home after losing their opening games in the conference's playoff. What does that mean for their chances to go to the NCAA tournament?

The SEC baseball tournament's first day has already featured a come-from-behind win and some games that could shake up the picture for the conference in the NCAA tournament. Oh, yeah, and they're also playing for some trophy or something. The first round also had the drama of being single elimination.

Ole Miss 4, Kentucky 1
There wasn't too much suspense in the morning game; Ole Miss took a 1-0 lead in the first inning and was never tied with Kentucky after that. The Wildcats left eight men on base. That might be the end of Kentucky's hopes to make the NCAAs; the Wildcats were already seen as a tenuous bubble team after they collapsed down the stretch. At absolute most, the SEC is going to get 10 bid this year, and eight or nine is more likely. There's really no way that Kentucky cracks that group after being knocked out in the first round.

Alabama 6, Auburn 3
Reverse all I just wrote about the last game for this one. Alabama took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, only to see Auburn jump out 3-1 in the third. But the Tide kept chipping away at the Tigers' margin, tying the game and then winning it in a three-run bottom of the eighth. The teams combined for three errors, but solid defensive play by Alabama late in the game helped them move past Auburn. Much of the credit should go to Jay Shaw, who took over for Alabama in the fourth and pitched five innings of shutout baseball, allowing Bama to get back in the game.

Baseball America had both Auburn and Alabama getting in, despite their facing each other in the single-elimination game to start the tournament. And while we're focused on the SEC tournament, there's plenty of baseball being played around the country, meaning Auburn could very well get in or be left out based on what happens elsewhere.

Up next: Florida takes on Texas A&M at 5:30 p.m. ET; Mississippi State and Missouri square off 30 minutes after that.

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