SEC Basketball Tournament Preview

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SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE
Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
March 11-15

KENTUCKY
Record: 31-0, 18-0
Odds to win Tournament -425 5 dimes sportsbook

This may be a deeper Conference than in year’s past, but that means absolutely nothing for this Kentucky team. The Wildcats are heavily favored in this Tournament for good reason and no matter what, will be the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. They’ll likely have to run through Florida again and an LSU team that has given them problems before reaching the final. Their toughest matchup would be Georgia in the championship, but there’s no guarantee the Bulldogs will make it.

ARKANSAS
Record: 24-7, 13-5
Odds to win Tournament +1000 5 dimes sportsbook

The Razorbacks are labeled the second best team in the SEC mainly because of consistency. OUtside of Kentucky, no one has been able to string together a run of wins like Arkansas. Of course like the rest of the conference, they also have weird losses thrown in like home Games to Ole Miss and LSU. Arkansas had a 5-seed for the NCAA Tourney locked in until the loss to LSU and now they’ll need to make the SEC title Game to get that seeding.

Arkansas shouldn’t have any problems with the first Game against either Tennessee or Vanderbilt. In the semis, there’s no telling who the Razorbacks will face, likely Ole Miss or Georgia. While they can reach the championship Game, beating Kentucky is unlikely.

GEORGIA
Record: 20-10, 11-7
Odds to win Tournament +1600 5 dimes sportsbook

The Bulldogs have been a surprise team this season out of the SEC, although that could be said about a few teams. They are sitting around an 8- or 9-seed in the NCAAs at the moment, and only a title Game appearance would boost them higher. That’s not out of the question for this team though, as they are healthy once again.

Georgia will likely have to take care of Ole Miss first. While they did beat them twice already, neither Game was all that easy. And then a rematch with Arkansas awaits. If Georgia meets Kentucky in the title, we could have a good Game on Our hands. The Bulldogs gave Kentucky solid tests in both meetings this year.

LSU
Record: 22-9, 11-7
Odds to win Tournament +2000 5 dimes sportsbook

It wasn’t long ago that LSU wasn’t even on the bubble, but the Tigers closed the season with Four wins in five Games. When this team is on their Game, they are probably Top 25 worthy, but that’s often not the case. They have the bigs in Jordan Mickey and Jarrell Martin to compete with anyone (even Kentucky), but the guards lack consistency and that’s been their main problem.

The Tigers are still sitting around a 9- or 10-seed, but it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if they gave Kentucky some problems in the semis. Then again, giving UK problems and beating them are two different things.

TEXAS A&M
Record: 20-10, 11-7
Odds to win Tournament +3000 5 dimes sportsbook

The Aggies closed their regular season with three losses in their final Four Games, and an unforgiving home loss to Alabama in the finale. Texas A&M is a true toss-up on the bubble and winning their first Game against lower level competition won’t help matters much.

Texas A&M will need to beat LSU to have a solid shot at the NCAAs. LUckily for the Aggies, they won the first two meetings. But with the way this team is playing, there aren’t many good reasons to think they will win a third.

OLE MISS
Record: 20-10, 11-7
Odds to win Tournament +2500 5 dimes sportsbook

Despite having similar records, the Rebels have better wins than the Aggies which is why Ole Miss has a better shot of making the NCAAs. However, this team also lost three of their last Four with a home loss to Vanderbilt finalizing the regular season. Much like Texas A&M, Ole Miss is not playing well.

If Georgia beats them in the quarters, there’s no telling if the Rebels will make March Madness.

It’s hard to see any other team making noise in this Tournament, mainly due to Kentucky’s dominance. Vanderbilt is coming off five straight wins and could mix things up if they can get past Arkansas in their second Game. The winner of Alabama and Florida will have to face Kentucky, which means they’re done.

There are teams that could give Kentucky a run for its money, but don’t count on the Wildcats losing in this Tourney.