(Updated 7:15 p.m.)
It’ll be the Dogs vs. the Hogs at the SEC men’s basketball tournament.
Georgia and Arkansas will meet in a first-round game at 9:45 p.m. Thursday in Nashville. Georgia will be the SEC East’s No. 6 seed and Arkansas the West’s No. 3 seed.
The matchup was determined before Georgia’s 50-48 loss at LSU on Saturday. Earlier in the day, South Carolina’s upset victory at Vanderbilt had ensured that Georgia would be the East’s No. 6 seed and Arkansas’ home loss to Ole Miss had ensured that the Razorbacks would be UGA’s first-round opponent.
Thursday’s full first-round schedule (all times Eastern, divisional seeds in parentheses):
1 p.m.: (E5) South Carolina vs. (W4) Alabama.
3:15 p.m.: (W6) LSU vs. (E3) Tennessee.
7:30 p.m.: (W5) Auburn vs. (E4) Florida.
9:45 p.m.: (E6) Georgia vs. (W3) Arkansas.
And Friday’s quarterfinals:
1 p.m.: South Carolina-Alabama winner vs. (E1) Kentucky
3:15 p.m.: LSU-Tennessee winner vs. (W2) Ole Miss
7:30 p.m.: Auburn-Florida winner vs. (W1) Mississippi State
9:45 p.m.: Georgia-Arkansas winner vs. (E2) Vanderbilt
A Georgia win at LSU Saturday would not have affected the Bulldogs’ tournament seeding because South Carolina clinched the East’s No. 5 seed with the victory at Vanderbilt. Even if Georgia had beaten LSU to match South Carolina’s 6-10 league record, the Gamecocks would have gotten the higher seed on the basis of the third tiebreaker, which is record vs. the division’s top seed (Kentucky). South Carolina is 1-1 vs. Kentucky, Georgia 0-2.
Georgia’s loss to LSU dropped the Dogs to 5-11 in the SEC and put them alone in last place in the East standings.
One advantage of the East No. 6 seed, as opposed to No. 5, is that it placed Georgia in the opposite half of the tournament bracket from Kentucky. While the Georgia-Arkansas winner will play Vanderbilt in the quarterfinals Friday, the South Carolina-Alabama winner will face Kentucky.
Arkansas will enter the tournament on a five-game losing streak and Georgia on a two-game skid. In the teams’ regular-season meeting — Feb. 3 in Athens — Arkansas won 72-68 after Georgia led by 15 points at halftime.
The loss at LSU means that Georgia finishes the regular season without a road victory (0-11 in opponents’ arenas).