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Hogs could make SEC Tournament with one more win

by Matt Jones | May 15, 2016 at 9:07 p.m.
Arkansas' Michael Bernal bats during a game against Alabama on Sunday, May 15, 2016, at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.

— Arkansas could make the SEC Tournament with as little as one win next week at No. 4 Mississippi State.

The Razorbacks (26-25, 7-20 SEC) will enter the final week of the regular season tied with Tennessee for last place in the 14-team conference. Only the top 12 teams in the standings are eligible to make the tournament in Hoover, Alabama.

SEC Standings

Florida 18-8

Texas A&M 18-9

Mississippi State 18-9

South Carolina 17-9

Ole Miss 17-10

LSU 17-10

Vanderbilt 15-12

Alabama 15-12

Kentucky 13-14

Georgia 10-17

Missouri 8-19

Auburn 8-19

Arkansas 7-20

Auburn 7-20

Arkansas and Tennessee are one game behind Missouri and Auburn (8-19 each) in the conference standings.

The ideal scenario for the Razorbacks is a series win at Mississippi State and series losses by Auburn to No. 7 Vanderbilt and Tennessee to Georgia. Arkansas would make the tournament if it finishes ahead of Tennessee and at least tied with Auburn. The Razorbacks own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Tigers by virtue of a series sweep in March.

A three-way tie between Arkansas, Auburn and Missouri would also put the Razorbacks in the SEC Tournament. Missouri would also make the tournament in that scenario because it won two of three against Auburn earlier this season.

Missouri also owns the head-to-head tiebreaker against Arkansas by virtue of its series win at Baum Stadium in April.

The Razorbacks did not play Tennessee this season, meaning all other tiebreakers would be decided by the teams' win percentage against common conference opponents.

Winning the series at Mississippi State seems unlikely for Arkansas, which has lost nine straight games. The Razorbacks have been swept five times this season - their most since 2000.

Mississippi State (37-14-1, 18-9) enters the series tied with Texas A&M for the lead in the SEC western division, and a half-game behind Florida for the best record in the conference. The Bulldogs are 21-9 at their home stadium, Dudy Noble Field.

Arkansas has not missed the SEC Tournament since it was an eight-team format in 2008. The Razorbacks still managed to make the NCAA regionals that season and haven't missed the NCAA postseason since 2001.


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