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SEC Weekend Outlook: Two to Watch

Everything hinges on two huge games.

Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

There are seven SEC games this weekend, just like normal. There could be some intrigue in some places.

  • Missouri at Georgia, noon ET, ESPNU
  • Ole Miss at LSU, 2 p.m. ET, FSN/ESPN3
  • Alabama at Vanderbilt, 4 p.m. ET, FSN/ESPN3
  • Arkansas at Kentucky, 4 p.m. ET, CBS
  • Tennessee at Florida, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN2
  • Mississippi State at South Carolina, 6 p.m. ET, SEC Network
  • Auburn at Texas A&M, 8:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network

Missouri could do huge damage to Georgia should the Bulldogs have a letdown after their big win over Ole Miss. Tennessee and Florida have had a lot of classic games in recent seasons no matter how good or bad the teams have been. Mississippi State and South Carolina actually do have some important SEC Tournament seeding implications on the line. And hey, Auburn's random number generator has produced wins at LSU and at Georgia. Maybe it'll do it next at Texas A&M. I can't recommend, however, watching Alabama-Vanderbilt because that would require watching this year's Alabama team.

Really though, this weekend is all about two games: Ole Miss at LSU and Arkansas at Kentucky.

The Rebels are relatively safe in the tournament despite dropping their last game to Georgia, and falling to LSU here won't hurt them too much either. It can affect their seeding, as they could potentially climb out of the 8/9 trap to the 7-seed line with wins and good luck, but they're not in danger of falling out after losing these two consecutive games.

LSU could really use the win, though. The Tigers are in better shape now versus a couple of weeks ago thanks to not having a bad loss since February 5, and they certainly aren't on the hook for another one of those this weekend. Still though, we all know that unlikely conference tournament winners will snipe some number of bubble slots. The higher up the ladder the Tigers can put themselves, the less likely they are to lose their spot because Evansville somehow got hot and won Arch Madness.

Seeding of any sort isn't really on the line with Kentucky-Arkansas. UK is pretty much locked into a 1-seed in both the SEC Tournament and NCAA Tournament. Arkansas won't fall out of second in the SEC with a loss, and a loss won't hurt its March Madness standing either. The Razorbacks are a consensus 5-seed right now, and even with the biggest win anyone can get this year, they probably won't end up much higher than that.

What is on the line is mostly on Arkansas's side. The Hogs have been vanquishing old demons throughout the year; they're going to make their first NCAA Tournament since 2008, and they have a winning road record right now as well. Knocking off this powerhouse Kentucky team will be yet another way for them to signal that they're back in a big way. That's not to say Kentucky is playing for nothing, of course. The whole undefeated thing is still on the line, which, you know, is nice.

Barring any Missouri magic or something, all attention will be on those two games. As it should be.