No. 17 Tennessee took down No. 3 Auburn 67-62 on Saturday to set up a dramatic final week of the regular season in the SEC. With the loss, the Tigers (25-4, 13-3 SEC) have dropped three of their last six and hold just a one-game lead on a chase pack of three teams in the league title race.
With No. 18 Arkansas knocking off No. 6 Kentucky 75-73 earlier in the day, the Razorbacks, Wildcats and Volunteers will all enter their last two games at 12-4 in league play. Auburn can still win the league outright by beating Mississippi State and South Carolina next week. But a loss in either game and a 2-0 week from Arkansas, Kentucky or Tennessee would bring a shared league title.
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Auburn star freshman Jabari Smith helped bring the Tigers back from an 11-point deficit late in the second half Saturday as he converted a 4-point play with 58 seconds remaining to bring Auburn within three. But the Volunteers closed it out from there to pick up their third victory of the season against an opponent in the top six of the AP poll.
Santiago Vescovi led Tennessee with 14 points while Kennedy Chandler and Zakai Ziegler contributed 13 apiece. Smith paced Auburn with 27 while K.D. Johnson added 18. Aside from Smith and Johnson, only three other players scored for the Tigers. Tennessee shot just 33% and turned the ball over 18 times compared to just 12 for Auburn. But the Volunteers out-rebounded Auburn 54-31 and converted that into a 19-8 edge in second-chance points.