The No. 1 baseball team in Division I will have to navigate through the toughest opposition in the nation to win its league tournament.
The Arkansas Razorbacks were the best team in the SEC, a league that had five teams in the top 10 of the latest Division I rankings.
Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Florida and Mississippi State were all ranked in the top 10 prior to the final weekend of regular-season play.
Fourth-ranked Tennessee landed the No. 2 seed on the opposite side of the bracket as Arkansas thanks to an upset loss suffered by the Vanderbilt Commodores to the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday.
Kentucky's win allowed Tennessee to capture the SEC East title, while Vanderbilt dropped from second to fourth. The Mississippi State Bulldogs earned the No. 3 seed thanks to the unexpected shift.
SEC Tournament Bracket and Schedule
Final standings here.
All times Eastern. All games on SEC Network except the championship game, which is on ESPN2.
Tuesday, May 25 (Single Elimination)
No. 6 Florida vs. No. 11 Kentucky, 10:30 a.m.
No. 7 South Carolina vs. No. 10 Alabama, 2 p.m.
No. 8 Georgia vs. No. 9 LSU, 5:30 p.m.
No. 5 Ole Miss vs. No. 12 Auburn, 9 p.m.
Wednesday, May 26 (Double Elimination)
No. 3 Mississippi State vs. Florida/Kentucky winner, 10:30 a.m.
No. 2 Tennessee vs. South Carolina/Alabama winner, 2 p.m.
No. 1 Arkansas vs. Georgia/LSU Winner, 5:30 p.m.
No. 4 Vanderbilt vs. Ole Miss/Auburn winner, 9 p.m.
Thursday, May 27
Mississippi State vs. Florida/Kentucky loser vs. Tennessee vs. South Carolina/Alabama loser, 10:30 a.m.
Arkansas vs. Georgia/LSU loser vs. Vanderbilt vs. Ole Miss/Auburn loser, 2 p.m.
Mississippi State vs. Florida/Kentucky winner vs. Tennessee vs. South Carolina/Alabama winner, 5:30 p.m.
Arkansas vs. Georgia/LSU winner vs. Vanderbilt vs. Ole Miss/Auburn winner, 9 p.m.
Friday, May 28
Saturday, May 29
Sunday, May 30
Arkansas completed the regular season with a 42-10 record following a series sweep of the Florida Gators.
The Razorbacks rank 15th in the nation with a .488 slugging percentage. Only Vanderbilt has a better number in the SEC.
Arkansas has a strong pitching staff to complement its consistent bats, and that is led by Division I ERA leader Kevin Kopps.
Kopps is one of two college hurlers to have an ERA under 1.00. He sits at 0.80. Monmouth's Rob Hensey is the only other pitcher under 1.00 at 0.96.
The Razorbacks southpaw is not the most notable pitcher in the conference, at least to casual fans of the sport.
Vanderbilt's duo of Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter are projected top-10 picks in the MLB draft. Leiter has been dealing with injury issues over the last few weeks.
According to MLB.com, Rocker is the No. 3 overall prospect and Leiter is No. 5. Florida outfielder Jud Fabian is the other SEC player inside the top 20.
Fabian is tied with South Carolina's Wes Clarke and Florida State's Matheu Nelson for the most home runs in Division I with 20. In fact, four players in the top 10 and tied in home runs will participate in the SEC tournament.
Unfortunately, one premier prospect, Gunnar Hoglund, will not be involved. The Ole Miss pitcher was forced to have Tommy John surgery. Hoglund is the No. 23 prospect in the 2021 draft class.
Arkansas, Vanderbilt and the other top two seeds will enter the tournament Wednesday. The start of play Tuesday in Hoover, Alabama, will feature Nos. 5-12.
The four winners of Tuesday's games will face off with the top four seeds to start a double-elimination format that will decide the four semifinalists.
The semifinals will be played Saturday and the SEC champion and automatic bid into the NCAA tournament will be determined Sunday.