What is Auburn’s path to an SEC Tournament championship?

Auburn basketball closed the regular season on Saturday by defeating Georgia, 92-78, at Neville Arena in front of a sold-out crowd.

The Tigers locked up the No. 4 seed in the SEC Tournament with the win and will enjoy a “double-bye” before playing its first game on Friday afternoon at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. How difficult will its conference championship journey be? Let’s examine the possibilities.

It all starts Wednesday when No. 12 Arkansas faces No. 13 Vanderbilt at 6 p.m. CT in the SEC Tournament opener. The Tigers were 3-0 against these two teams in regular season competition, winning each game by an average of 24.6 points. Early on, Arkansas has been given a 74.7% chance to beat Vanderbilt according to ESPN’s matchup predictor despite the game being played just a few miles from Vanderbilt’s campus.

The winner of that game will square off with No. 5 seed South Carolina 25 minutes following the conclusion of No. 8 LSU‘s game with No. 9 Mississippi State on Thursday. The Gamecocks wrapped up the No. 5 seed by finishing 13-5 in SEC play, and 25-6 overall. No matter the outcome of Arkansas-Vanderbilt, South Carolina should win the game, forcing a Friday afternoon date on Broadway with the Auburn Tigers.

Friday’s rematch between Auburn and South Carolina will occur 25 minutes following the conclusion of No. 1 Tennessee’s game with either LSU or Mississippi State. Should the Gamecocks get the opportunity to face Auburn again, you can expect Lamont Paris’ squad to be heavily motivated as they dropped a 101-61 contest to Auburn on Feb. 14.

The expected outcome of Friday’s action is No. 4 Auburn prevailing over the Gamecocks, and No. 1 Tennessee to earn a debut win. If so, the Tigers and Vols will meet Saturday at noon CT to kick off the semi-final Saturday in Nashville. Auburn faced Tennessee once this season, dropping a 92-84 decision on Feb. 28 in Knoxville. Auburn’s Johni Broome scored 23 points and pulled in nine rebounds in the game, but the Tigers had no answer for Tennessee’s Dalton Knecht, who scored 39 points in the Vols’ win.

If Auburn is still standing on Championship Sunday, it will face either No. 2 seed Kentucky or No. 3 Alabama, with the possibility of facing No. 6 Florida or No. 7 Texas A&M still on the table. Auburn is 2-3 against this slate, with its wins coming over Alabama and Texas A&M at home. Both wins were by double-digits.

The Tigers closed out the season with three straight wins, and hope to carry that momentum into Nashville this week. Auburn’s quest for cutting down the nets begins Friday afternoon.

Contact/Follow us @TheAuburnWire on  X (Twitter), and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Auburn news, notes, and opinions. You can also follow Taylor on Twitter @TaylorJones__

Story originally appeared on Auburn Wire