Florida’s loss to Georgia on Saturday afternoon not only temporary stalled its march toward an NCAA Tournament berth.
It also hurt Florida’s chances of securing the No. 3 seed from the East in the Southeastern Conference Tournament.
UF and Tennessee are currently tied for third in the SEC East at 9-5. But if the season ended today, the Vols would get the nod at the No. 3 seed because of a better division record (5-5), then the Gators (3-5). Florida would need to win its final two games against Vanderbilt and at Kentucky to finish 11-5 in the SEC and 5-5 in the division.
If Florida and Tennessee are tied at 11-5, the Gators would get the nod based on a better head-to-head record with Vanderbilt (1-1) then the Vols (0-2). But to accomplish that, Florida would need to upset No. 2 Kentucky at Rupp Arena, where the Wildcats have yet to lose this season.
If Florida and Tennessee both finish 10-6 in the SEC, the Vols would get the nod over Florida based on a better division record (5-5 for UT, 4-6 for UF). Tennessee closes its regular season at home against Arkansas on Wednesday and at Mississippi State on Saturday.
There also is a slim chance for a three-way tie with Florida, Tennessee and Vanderbilt at 11-5. In that case, Vanderbilt would still wind up the No. 2 seed, Florida would be the No. 3 seed and Tennessee would be the No. 4 seed. After playing Florida on Tuesday night, Vanderbilt closes the season Saturday at home against South Carolina.
As the No. 4 seed in the SEC East, Florida’s likely first-round opponent in the SEC Tournament would either be Alabama or Auburn, depending on how each team finishes league play. If the Gators get the No. 3 seed, they would play No. 6 seed LSU.
More info on SEC Tournament tiebreakers can be found at http://www.secsports.com/news/the-road-to-nashville.aspx