Auburn vs. Kentucky men's basketball

Auburn's Danjel Purifoy (3) reacts to a play during the Auburn vs. Kentucky men's basketball game at Auburn Arena on Feb. 1, 2020.

Flip all the lights back and get ready to rush the doors one more time.

The road to first place runs through the Jungle.

League-leading LSU lost 99-90 on the road at Vanderbilt on Wednesday night, giving Saturday’s showdown between two-loss Auburn and now-one-loss LSU immediately implications in the chase for first place in the conference standings.

No. 11 Auburn (20-2 overall, 7-2 SEC) hosts No. 18 LSU (17-5, 8-1) at 11 a.m. Saturday with the chance to hand LSU its second conference loss and force a tie atop the SEC.

Auburn came back from 11 points down to beat Arkansas 79-76 in overtime on the road Tuesday. Fellow contender atop the SEC standings Kentucky also stands 7-2 in the conference after beating Mississippi State on Tuesday.

But Auburn could tie the standings with them both later this week holding head-to-head wins over them both if the Tigers can win a second consecutive Saturday epic in Auburn Arena against LSU.

Auburn beat No. 15 Kentucky 75-66 in an instant classic last Saturday. Now another big-time game is coming to the Plains.

Wednesday night, LSU’s Trendon Watford scored 26 points while Emmitt Williams scored another 24 points, but hot-shooting Vanderbilt hit 57.4-percent of its shots from the field on its home floor, and proved how topsy-turvy the SEC can be this year — and how difficult it can be for teams to win on the road in the conference.

Auburn Arena, vaunted lately as one of the toughest places to play in the SEC if not the country, will have its chance to influence another big opportunity for the Tigers on Saturday.

Saturday’s game is set to be broadcast on ESPN.

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