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SEC Basketball Recap: Tennessee Wins Upset; TAMU, Kentucky, and Florida Roll

The top teams won, while the Vols sprung the surprise.

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Volunteers picked up a big win over the weekend in upsetting the South Carolina Gamecocks 78-69.

When the Gamecocks held off Ole Miss in overtime during the week, they nearly lost from the SEC's leading scorer Stefan Moody taking them down. Moody injured his hamstring late in the game, and that was a major contributing factor to South Carolina's ability to come back and win. The No. 2 leading scorer in the conference Kevin Punter stayed 100% throughout this one, and his career high 36 points led the way for the Vols to win.

Beyond the big upset, the SEC saw a pair of close finishes.

It doesn't get much closer than overtime, and that's what it took for the Georgia Bulldogs to power their way past the Arkansas Razorbacks 76-73. The Bulldogs tried to give it away with missed free throws twice, with Yante Maten missing four down the stretch in regulation and Kenny Gaines and Charles Mann each missing one late in overtime. J.J. Frazier did manage to nail back-to-back charity tosses with six second to go in the first overtime period, necessitating a three-point attempt for Arkansas that missed.

In the other close one, the LSU Tigers didn't need overtime to hold off the Alabama Crimson Tide 72-70. Ben Simmons was the key player for he Bayou Bengals, stuffing the stat sheet with 23 points, eight boards, and five assists. He also stuffed the foul column, and him sitting late in the first half due to picking up his second sparked a 16-5 Alabama run that turned an LSU lead into a five-point Alabama edge at the half. He stayed in the game late after picking up a fourth foul, and Tim Quarterman scored four points in the final 1:15 to help push LSU over the top.

The game that looked the biggest going into the weekend turned out to be one of the least competitive. The Kentucky Wildcats dominated the Vanderbilt Commodores 76-57 at home in Rupp. The UK defense held the 'Dores to just 32% shooting on the night, and Vandy was never able to truly threaten to win the game.

In other action, the Mississippi State Bulldogs are on the board after picking up their first SEC win 83-77 over the Ole Miss Rebels. Malik Newman scored 20 of his 25 points after intermission to lead MSU to the victory. The Rebels were hindered by not having Moody, out with the aforementioned hamstring pull, and the still-recovering Sebastian Saiz.

The league leading Texas A&M Aggies had a little trouble, but not too much, in vaulting past the Missouri Tigers 66-53. Mizzou kept it close throughout the first half and only was down by four at the break. The Tigers went on a 6-0 run to begin the second half and secure a 31-29 lead, but a Jalen Jones free throw at the 14:35 mark gave the Aggies a 39-38 lead that they'd never relinquish. Jones led all scorers with 20.

Finally, the Florida Gators rebounded from a surprising close game with Mississippi State to run the Auburn Tigers out of the O'Dome 95-63. UF started out blistering, eventually running up a lead as large as 31-10 with 10:50 to go in the first half. Florida cruised from there, with five Gators scoring in double digits led by Dorian Finney-Smith's 24.