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SEC Basketball Recap of Shakeup Saturday

Unexpected results muddle the conference's picture.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

So many important things happened on Saturday in SEC basketball that it's difficult to know where to start. Let's just go with the biggest game, then.

The Texas A&M Aggies used a buzzer beating putback from Tyler Davis in overtime to knock off the Kentucky Wildcats 79-77. With the game tied at 77 in bonus time, Danuel House drove to the basket but missed his attempt. The rebound went right at Davis, and he put it back in as time expired.

The result helps to blow open the top of the conference standings, as UK is now only one game ahead of a three-way tie for second with A&M, LSU, and South Carolina. The win also gives TAMU the tiebreaker over the Wildcats, an important precondition to the Aggies' chances at a regular season title.

UK could've found itself in a tie for first, except that the LSU Tigers went on the road and lost badly 81-65 to the Tennessee Volunteers. The win for UT is even more remarkable given that Kevin Punter missed the game entirely with a bum foot. Armani Moore helped lead the way in Punter's absence with 17 and 10, while Robert Hubbs III was the high man for the Vols with 19.

Tennessee continued its torment of the top of the conference. It now holds home wins over Kentucky, LSU, and South Carolina, and A&M only escaped Knoxville with a four-point win. LSU's NCAA Tournament hopes took a blow with the loss, something the Tigers couldn't really afford. It's entirely possible that falling in this game knocked them out for good.

The conference got more bad bubble news when the Mississippi State Bulldogs held off the Alabama Crimson Tide 67-61. Bama had moved into a solid 10-seed in the Bracket Matrix, but it fell to the conference's resident spoiler. The Vanderbilt Commodores did pick themselves back up after losing to MSU earlier in the week by taking down the Georgia Bulldogs 80-67, but at this point the win is more valuable for conference tournament and NIT seeding than for Big Dance bubble credit.

Back at the top of the conference, the South Carolina Gamecocks dusted themselves off from their loss to Mizzou and beat the Florida Gators 73-69 in overtime. Michael Carrera showed up big with 20 points and 15 boards, while UF's leader Dorian Finney-Smith had 18 and 13 in the losing effort.

Carolina is an interesting team in the SEC race. Florida was their last top-half-of-the-league opponent, so 13-5 is a realistic possibility. The Gamecocks need Kentucky to lose at least once more and don't own the tie breaker over the 'Cats, but they do have wins over Texas A&M and LSU. They can't win a four-way tie at 13-5 because LSU's 3-1 record against the other tied teams would beat S.C.'s 2-1, but they would win a three-way tie with UK and A&M at 13-5 if LSU finishes fourth. It also wins that tie if Florida finishes fourth and the Gators are the ones who give the Wildcats a fifth SEC loss on March 1 in Gainesville—which is the most plausible scenario in which UK gets another conference loss.

The final two games of the day don't affect much and turned out as expected. The Ole Miss Rebels beat the Auburn Tigers 69-59, and Stefan Moody shined in the win with 23 points. The Arkansas Razorbacks picked up a much needed win by beating the Missouri Tigers 84-72, keeping them a game ahead of MSU for the final first round SEC Tournament bye.

The conference is in flux right now. No one has a winning or losing streak of longer than two right now. Four games remain, and 11 teams are within four games of the conference lead. The last two weeks of conference play will be wild.