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SEC Basketball Weekend Outlook: Three to Watch

Barring unexpected upsets, there are three games to watch today.

Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

Today, SEC basketball has its customary seven games. Unless we see some giant upsets, three of them are worth keeping track of, and all are on the SEC Network:

  • Auburn at Georgia, 2 p.m. ET, FSN/ESPN3
  • South Carolina at Kentucky, 2 p.m. ET, ESPN
  • LSU at Tennessee, 4 p.m. ET, SEC Network
  • Mississippi State at Missouri, 4 p.m. ET, ESPNU
  • Florida at Texas A&M, 6:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network
  • Vanderbilt at Alabama, 8 p.m. ET, ESPNU
  • Arkansas at Ole Miss, 9 p.m. ET, SEC Network

The first big one is LSU at Tennessee. The Tigers are barely on the right side of the bubble line, while the Vols would love to play their way back into the tournament picture. UT has a way to go on that matter, but a good first step would be to take a piece out of one of the teams ahead of it. The bubble is a zero-sum game, after all. LSU, for its part, can't afford to have a hangover from its close loss to Kentucky on Tuesday. At present, the Tigers' problem is too many bad losses. Fall today, and that issue might just morph into to many losses, period.

The next big one is Florida at Texas A&M. The Aggies aren't in much better of shape than LSU is thanks to a resume that lacks a signature win. That signature win can't come today against the Gators, but every win matters this time of year for teams on the edge of the tournament. If UF plans to win, then it'll have to put Thursday's heartbreaker behind it with a quickness. The Gators are on the brink of being under .500 overall after New Year's for the first time since 1997-98, Billy Donovan's second season when he was still rebuilding. They've lost six-of-eight and are reeling like we've not seen in over 15 years.

Finally, the nightcap between Arkansas and Ole Miss should be a great one. Offenses were on display last time, when the Rebels went into Fayetteville and came out with a 96-82 win. Look for more fireworks this time around from the conference's second and third-best teams. The Rebels could use the win more for seeding purposes. They're off the bubble, but not by a far distance. Dropping this one won't damage them, but it will solidify their standing. The Hogs have been in "should be in" territory for over a week now, so they don't need this one as much. We'll see if that comes into play.

As for the rest, there's not a ton of excitement. Georgia picked up a bad loss to South Carolina on January 31, but they probably won't get another today to Auburn. Missouri has one of two last, best chances to pick up a second SEC win with its home game against MSU, with the other being a home match with Auburn on March 3. That's something, I guess. South Carolina caused Kentucky problems in previous years but didn't a few weeks ago at home and probably won't today on the road. As for Alabama and Vandy, I can't recommend watching the brand of ugly hoops Bama has been playing this year.