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Record: 29-2, 18-0
Will anyone in the SEC beat Florida this year? At this point, it doesn’t look like it. The Gators already have a No. 1 seed locked up in the Big Dance no matter what happens in this tourney. They have a complete team from the starters all the way to a respectable bench. They beat the No. 2 team in the conference by a total of 29 points in two games. Who will challenge them?
Missouri is looking like Florida’s first opponent, followed by Tennessee or Arkansas which should at least be competitive. Kentucky should reach the championship game to match Florida, but you never know with how they’ve been playing lately.
Record: 22-9, 12-6
The Wildcats are a mess losing three of their last four games. They have plenty of skilled players, but just aren’t putting it together as an entire team. Without that, they are no longer ranked and have seen their projected seeding fall every day.
Kentucky will probably get LSU in their first game, a team they have had trouble with twice. Next up will be Georgia, who they actually match up better with. If things start to click, the Wildcats can make it to the championship game, but that can’t be counted on.
Record: 18-12, 12-6
Georgia actually tied Kentucky in conference records, but lost in the head-to-head game. No one could see this 12-6 SEC record coming. The Bulldogs looked brutal early in the season with losses to Georgia Tech and Davidson, but have now won eight of their last 10 games and look like a legit threat in this tournament.
Their first game will likely be Ole Miss, who has not looked good at all. Because of a poor non-conference record, Georgia is still a long way from getting an NCAA bid. They’ll need to win two games in this tourney to have a chance.
Record: 20-11, 11-7
Outside of Florida, the Volunteers are probably the hottest team in the conference. Since finding themselves on the bubble a couple weeks ago, they have rattled off huge wins including a big 27-point win over Missouri. They’re still on the bubble and will need a win to guarantee a seeding.
Tennessee’s first game will likely be against fellow bubble team in Arkansas. The Vols won the first matchup at home, but this could end up being a make-or-break type of game with the winner getting a NCAA bid.
Record: 21-10, 10-8
Things were looking great for the Razorbacks reeling off six straight wins and almost a lock for March Madness and then they lost by 25 points to Alabama, one of the worst teams in the SEC.
They have a must-win game against Auburn or South Carolina and then will face Tennessee. If Arkansas can’t win that game, their fate will be in the hands of the committee, which is usually not a good thing.
Record: 21-10, 9-9
The Tigers started the season great with a 12-1 record, but then conference play started. Missouri only won two SEC road games all season which is the main reason for their poor record. They have players in Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson, but they just can’t put it together on the road.
Now as the 8-seed in the SEC tourney, they’ll have to beat Texas A&M and then Florida to have a shot at making the Big Dance. They lost to the Gators by 10 points earlier this season on the road.
Ole Miss has won only two games in their last eight chances and will need a big effort to advance past Georgia in this tournament. Like last year, the Rebels will need to make a run to the championship to have a chance at the NCAAs. LSU is in a similar situation, but has a harder road with Kentucky in the waiting.
Most people will be picking Florida in this tournament for good reason, but it’s a question of who they’ll face in the championship game. Can Kentucky come around and show some consistency?
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