The SEC basketball season has five games left for every team, so each one counts. This weekend's schedule is not light on stakes for the conference's teams.
GAME OF THE WEEKEND
Kentucky Wildcats vs. Texas A&M Aggies, 6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
This is a "prove it" game for both squads. Kentucky has gone four straight games without losing for the first time in three months, while Texas A&M ended its SEC losing streak earlier this week. Can UK win a tough road game and really claim a hold on the conference's top spot? Can TAMU secure the best win the conference has to offer and show that its slide was only a lapse?
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20
Neither team is on the NCAA Tournament bubble, but neither has entirely locked in a bid just yet. UF can solidify its place and potentially move up a seed line by winning this one away from home. Carolina could use this win to stop the bleeding caused by losing to Mizzou earlier this week.
I'm not sure why this one is on ESPN2 with UF-SC on the SECN, but whatever. Vandy is not in good bubble shape right now, so holding serve at home is a necessity. UGA is still very much in the hunt for the fourth SEC Tournament double bye given the logjam of teams in the 8-5/7-6 range, so the Bulldogs would help themselves by getting a rare road win.
Bama has been on a roll lately, but now is not the time to take its eye off the ball. MSU has defeated one of the bubble hopefuls already in Vanderbilt, so the Tide can't afford to overlook this game.
Ole Miss is basically playing at this point for seeding—both in the SECT and NIT. AU has been able to bite some better teams at home this year, so that seeding could take a hit today.
Big Orange is basically just playing spoiler at this point, but it would have an impact with a win today. Not only would it prevent the Tigers from having a shot at getting in a tie for the league lead again, but it would push LSU down the bubble priority order.
These teams are headed in different directions at the moment. MU is coming off of back-to-back wins over power conference teams for the first time all year, while the Hogs have lost three-of-four.