With a three-game sweep of Mississippi State, Vanderbilt clinched its fifth straight trip to the SEC tournament. The Commodores (39-13, 15-10 SEC) also moved into fourth place in the conference, percentage points ahead of Arkansas and Ole Miss.
Vanderbilt will close the regular season against the Razorbacks (Thursday, May 20 - Saturday, May 22) in a pivotal series that will play a factor in both teams SEC tournament seeding and NCAA Regional hosting chances.
The Commodores can finish with the third best conference record overall, but only as high as the No. 4 seed in the SEC tournament. The divisional champions from the East and West will be awarded the top two seeds, and the loser of the Florida/South Carolina series this weekend will get the No. 3 seed. The Dores can't finish any lower than the No. 6 seed.
The Hogs are also still alive to win the SEC West and No. 2 overall seed in Hoover, but can also finish as low as the No. 6 seed.
As for NCAA Regionals, the number of SEC schools that will get the right to host is tough to predict. Since 2004, the SEC has been awarded anywhere from two to five sites per year. In 2008 and 2009, though, the conference received only two and three respectively. While the selection criteria can change from year to year, RPI ratings usually factor heavily into determining the 16 locations for the opening round.
At this point, it's fair to say that South Carolina and Florida will earn regional host sites with Vanderbilt, Auburn, Arkansas and Ole Miss in competition for other possible spots. That's why the Vanderbilt-Arkansas series will be huge. This matchup will pit two top 15 RPI teams against each other, with the winner having a leg up in regional hosting chances.
The SEC tournament will be held from May 26-30 at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala. The NCAA Regional host sites will be announced on May 30, and the field of 64 will be revealed on May 31.
Sunday's SEC Results (view game recaps)
Vanderbilt 14, Mississippi State 4
South Carolina 5, Arkansas 3
Florida 9, Georgia 3
Auburn 9, Tennessee 2
Kentucky 6, LSU 4
Alabama 6, Ole Miss 3
Remaining SEC Schedule
Note: Thursday, May 20 - Saturday, May 22
Arkansas at Vanderbilt
Alabama at Tennessee
Auburn at Ole Miss
Florida at South Carolina
Kentucky at Georgia
Mississippi State at LSU
Updated SEC Tournament Seedings
|CONF. W-L (Overall)||GB|
|1. South Carolina*||20-7 (41-11)||---|
|2. Auburn*||17-10 (35-17)||3.0|
|3. Florida||20-7 (37-12)||---|
|4. Vanderbilt||15-10 (39-13)||4.0|
|5. Arkansas||16-11 (38-14)||4.0|
|6. Ole Miss||16-11 (36-17)||4.0|
|TIED FOR 7TH/8TH|
|7/8 Kentucky||12-15 (29-23)||8.0|
|7/8 LSU||12-15 (34-18)||8.0|
|7/8 Tennessee||12-15 (29-23)||8.0|
|7/8 Alabama||12-15 (31-21)||8.0|
|Mississippi State||5-22 (21-31)||15.0|
*For the SEC Tournament, the divisional champion with the highest conference winning percentage is the first seed and the remaining divisional champion is the second seed. All other teams are seeded 3-8 by conference winning percentage.