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SEC Basketball Saturday

Most of the SEC may have underperformed during non-conference play, and the conference as a whole may be down a good bit this year, but today every team gets to start with a 0-0 conference record and any team (in theory anyway) can win the SEC championship.

12:30 CT
Tennessee at Arkansas
SEC Network & ESPN3

Bruce Pearl begins his 8-game suspension in Fayetteville in the day's early game, which will be available on all SEC Network affiliates. Despite an awful skid in which the Vols lost 4 of 6 to mostly mediocre teams, they are still projected as an NCAA tournament team, though only as a #10 seed. The Hogs are short on quality wins, but their only losses have all come against solid teams and two were in OT. They may have the best shot of any West team to make the Dance, but they'll need to beat the league's best teams at home to do so. This game is big for both teams.

3:00 CT
Alabama at Mississippi State
SEC Network & ESPN3

These two SEC West rivals will do battle in Starkville with the Bulldogs at full strength for the first time all season. We previewed this game extensively yesterday. There is split coverage on the SEC Network so check these listings for your local affiliates.

3:00 CT
Kentucky at Georgia
SEC Network & ESPN3

Kentucky is off to yet another impressive start under John Calipari. The 'Cats are projected as a #2 seed in the NCAA tournament, meaning they're one of the top 5-8 teams in the country right now. They're the favorites to win the SEC crown, but as always, they'll get everyone's best shot when they go on the road in the SEC. The 'Dawgs meanwhile have performed well enough thus far to nab an NCAA at-large bid for the first time in ten years if they can finish with 9 or 10 SEC wins and pick up a few of those against the league's elite teams. Getting a chance at the 'Cats at home is exactly the type of opportunity they need.

4:00 CT
Vanderbilt at South Carolina

Vandy has quietly assembled an impressive non-conference resume. They are currently projected as a #5 seed in the NCAA tournament and should be able to contend for their first SEC championship in 18 years. We know how strong they are in their home fortress, so if they can win their road games against the league's mediocre teams like South Carolina, they have a great shot to do so. The 'Cocks would probably be competitive in the West, but facing the East gauntlet their chances of getting to the Dance are slim. Getting home wins against their fellow East foes is their best shot at a winning SEC record that might take them to the NIT.

5:00 CT
LSU at Auburn
Fox Sports Network & ESPN3

LSU has been bad. Auburn has been historically, record-breaking bad. However, the edge might just have to go to Auburn here. With the return of leading scorer Frankie Sullivan for the first time all year, Auburn pulled one of the biggest upsets in college basketball this year by beating Florida State in their last game. With this game at Auburn, it's the orange and blue Tigers' best shot at an SEC win. Either way, the winner of this one should cherish it, because they probably won't get many more.

7:00 CT
Ole Miss at Florida
Comcast Sports South & ESPN3

The Gators are poised for another trip to the Big Dance under Billy Donovan. They're a projected #6 seed, but they can't afford to lose at home to many West teams if they want to stay at that level at the end of the season. The Rebels meanwhile, along with Arkansas, have the best shot of any West team to get a bid this year. Like the Hogs though, they need a gaudy SEC record and they need wins against the league's top teams, like Florida. Lots at stake for both teams in the SEC nightcap.