So much for Friday's Southeastern Conference baseball action helping to separate the teams and make a clearer picture for tournament seeding, exactly the opposite happened. In the Eastern Division, South Carolina and Vanderbilt won while Florida lost. Headed into the final day of action in the SEC all three are tied at 21-8. In the Western Division, the Arkansas-Ole Miss game was postponed because of rain, so the only two winners were Auburn and Mississippi State. Alabama lost, dropping them from their sole perch on top of the division and LSU lost, dropping them from contention in the Western Division and mathematically eliminating the Tigers from receiving a bid into the SEC Tournament.
Let's start with what we know for certain:
- Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Auburn have all qualified for the SEC Baseball Tournament. The two division winners get to claim the first two seeds and then the rest of the seeding is done by win percentage. Since three teams in each division (and one more when Arkansas and Mississippi State play their makeup game this afternoon) are tied for first place, tournament seeding is still very much up in the air.
- LSU, Tennessee and Kentucky have been mathematically eliminated from tournament contention.
- That leaves Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Arkansas to fight for the final two spots. Here are a few of the uncertainties: - If Mississippi State beats LSU Saturday, it will qualify for the SEC Tournament. - With Arkansas and Ole Miss playing each other, if one sweeps the Saturday doubleheader, it will qualify for the SEC Tournament.
- If LSU beats Mississippi State and Arkansas and Ole Miss split their doubleheader, the three teams finish in a three-way tie and tie breaker scenarios come into play. Saturday, the SEC's final day of regular-season play, still means a lot for not only the three teams still fighting, but for all nine contending teams fighting for a higher seed.