This is going to sound crazy. This is going to sound nuts, especially from someone who argued this morning that the impact of last Saturday’s win over Missouri has been exaggerated. And yet, going by the numbers, it’s true.
Kentucky could still win the SEC.
Florida’s 64-58 loss to Tennessee dropped the league-leading Gators to 12-3 in the SEC, just a game ahead of Alabama (11-4) and a game-and-a-half ahead of Kentucky (10-4). And UK should move to 11-4 with a win over lowly Mississippi State tonight in Rupp Arena.
Florida isn’t likely to lose its next two games. Both are the O’Connell Center. Alabama visits on Saturday. Bama has a shot at an upset, but the Gators will still be comfortable favorites. Then Vanderbilt comes to Gainesville on March 6. Alabama has a better shot at poaching the Gators than do the Commodores.
After tonight, Kentucky has a tougher path ahead. The Cats travel to Arkansas on Saturday. The Razorbacks have not lost a home conference game this season. Then , a week from Thursday, UK travels to Athens to play a Georgia team that plays everyone close and even beats a few.
But let’s say both Kentucky and Florida make it unscathed to their March 9 matchup at Rupp Arena. Florida would be 14-3. Kentucky would be 13-4. A Kentucky win would tie the Gators for the regular-season title.
Florida would probably still be the No. 1 seed in the tournament, based on its win over third-place Alabama. UK lost to the Crimson Tide 59-55 in Tuscaloosa on January 22.
Still, after UK’s 88-58 loss to Tennessee less than two weeks ago, not sure anyone could have seen Kentucky being in position to tie for the title.