Full SEC Tournament Preview and Predictions

Buckle up basketball fans, because we are entering the best sports time of the entire year. The postseason of college basketball is truly unmatched, and it all starts with conference tournament week. The SEC Tournament kicks off tonight with the traditional “Wednesday Sadness”, two matchups between the bottom feeders of the conference who did not earn a bye. This year’s edition features matchups between 13 seed Ole Miss and 12 seed South Carolina (both 11-20) as well as 14 seed LSU (13-18) and 11 seed Georgia (16-15). Here is a look at the entire bracket:

As for tonight’s games, take your pick really. The Rebels have been playing better since the the firing of Kermit Davis and are favored by about seven points. LSU against Georgia is going to be a slug fest between two bad teams who probably wouldn’t play if they had the choice, but for the sake of making a prediction, I’ll go with South Carolina and Georgia tonight.

The real action will start tomorrow afternoon. The first game, who the winner of will face Alabama, will be Mississippi State against Florida. State is one of the surprises of the conference and still has a shot to make the tournament, while the Gators are missing star big man Colin Castleton. Tennessee will take on the winner of the Ole Miss vs. South Carolina game, and in one of the closest matchups of the tournament, 10 seed Arkansas will face 7 seed Auburn. The final game of the night on Wednesday will be 6 seed Vanderbilt taking on the winner of LSU and Georgia. Here are my Thursday predictions:


No. 9 Mississippi State vs. No. 8 Florida:

Winner: Mississippi State

No. 12 South Carolina vs. No. 5 Tennessee

Winner: Tennessee

No. 10 Arkansas vs. No. 7 Auburn

Winner: Arkansas

No. 11 Georgia vs. No. 6 Vanderbilt

Winner: Vanderbilt


That leaves a fascinating quarter-final Friday. 1 seed Alabama will be the first game of the day, taking on Mississippi State fresh off a win vs. Florida. In one of the best games of the tournament, the surprise double-bye of the conference, Missouri, takes on Tennessee. That leaves Texas A&M against Arkansas and Vanderbilt against Kentucky. Here are my Friday predictions:


No. 9 Mississippi State vs. No. 1 Alabama

Winner: Alabama

No. 5 Tennessee vs. No. 4 Missouri

Winner: Missouri

No. 10 Arkansas vs. No. 2 Texas A&M

Winner: Arkansas

No. 6 Vanderbilt vs No. 3 Kentucky

Winner: Kentucky


That brings us to semi-final Saturday! The Razorbacks erase any doubt on their status for the big dance with two huge wins over Auburn and Texas A&M, Missouri takes down a Tennessee team that has not looked the same since Zakai Zeigler went out, Alabama handles Mississippi State, and Kentucky ends a Vanderbilt season that has exceeded expectations. That leaves us with Alabama taking on Missouri in their semi-final, and Kentucky taking on Arkansas. While it’s entirely possible the results are nowhere near this, here are my Saturday predictions:


No. 4 Missouri vs. No. 1 Alabama

Winner: Alabama

No. 10 Arkansas vs. No. 3 Kentucky

Winner: Kentucky

Alabama against Kentucky seems to be the popular pick for the championship matchup here, but I truly believe these are the two best teams in the SEC and will be the last two standing in Nashville. This leaves us a championship matchup where John Calipari’s bunch gets another shot at a team who beat them by 26 in Tuscaloosa earlier in the season. Here is my championship pick:


No. 3 Kentucky vs. No. 1 Alabama

Winner: Kentucky


Woah! Yes, you read that right. Big Blue takes down the Crimson Tide in an epic championship game. Yes, Alabama has been the best team in the conference all year long, but have not played great down the stretch and a talented Kentucky team is more than capable of beating Alabama if the Tide aren’t at their best. We’ll see how these predictions shake out, but no matter what, we are in for a fantastic SEC Tournament this week in Nashville.