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Blog Entry

What-to-know conference previews: SEC

Posted on: March 6, 2012 9:56 pm
Edited on: March 6, 2012 10:08 pm
 
So who's gonna finish second to Kentucky in New Orleans?

That's an obvious question to ask heading into the SEC Tournament.

It's probably also a reasonable question to ask about the NCAA Tournament.

Because the Wildcats are the overwhelming favorite in the SEC Tournament and will be most people's pick to win the NCAA Tournament, too. They're talented and dominant and generally great. They've only lost once all season and that was on a buzzer-beater at Indiana. They ran through the SEC in a way that impressed even Nick Saban. If no SEC team could beat them in 16 tries during the regular season, why would any SEC team do it here?

Answer: No SEC team will.

So who's finishing second to Kentucky in New Orleans?

I'll go with Vanderbilt.

Despite what the tournament seedings and national rankings suggest, the Commodores are, in my opinion, the SEC's second best team. They just don't play like it all the time, which is a problem. But that's another issue for another day. For now, let's just focus on the event's first-round games. Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Florida earned byes to the quarterfinals. The other eight schools start play Thursday.



TOURNAMENT BRACKET

LSU (8) vs. Arkansas (9): There was a time when nobody could beat Arkansas at Arkansas, but that time ended just after Valentine's Day. That's when Florida destroyed the Razorbacks at Bud Walton. Then Alabama handled them there. Then Ole Miss handled them there, too. Suddenly, the Razorbacks were no longer considered a bubble team. They looked more like a ninth-seed in a 12-team league, which is exactly what they turned into. If they beat LSU on Thursday, they'll play Kentucky on Friday. So I'm not sure winning Thursday is wise.

Alabama (5) vs. South Carolina (12): The Crimson Tide were on the verge of falling apart when several players were suspended, including Tony Mitchell, who was ultimately dismissed. But Anthony Grant held things together, the Crimson Tide closed the regular season by winning four of their final five games, and they're now (I presume) safely in the NCAA Tournament. Meantime, South Carolina is on a five-game losing streak. So barring a surprise, Grant will spend Friday coaching against Florida while Darrin Horn spends Friday dreading a meeting with his athletic director.

Ole Miss (7) vs. Auburn (10): Proof that the bubble is super soft is that Jerry Palm has Ole Miss just on the wrong side of it despite the fact that the Rebels are 1-6 against the Top 50 and 7-11 against the Top 100. To be clear, they probably need to beat Auburn on Thursday, Tennessee on Friday and Vanderbilt, Mississippi State or Georgia on Saturday to be seriously considered for an at-large bid. But Andy Kennedy's team has a shot. That's the point I'm trying to make.

Mississippi State (6) vs. Georgia (11): Rick Stansbury's Bulldogs are in most bracket projections right now, but just barely. In other words, they'd better not lose to Georgia on Thursday because if they do they won't play Vanderbilt on Friday ... or in the NCAA Tournament at all.

-- Gary Parrish
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Gary Parrish, SEC
 
Comments

Since: Mar 3, 2009
Posted on: March 7, 2012 6:45 pm
 

What-to-know conference previews: SEC

lets see now, 2 final fours at to different schools and 2 vacated final fours, do you think that happened by chance? thats my proof calipari is a cheater, up next, your beloved kentucky wildcats(cheaters) !!!!!



Since: Dec 21, 2011
Posted on: March 7, 2012 5:11 pm
 

What-to-know conference previews: SEC

Dynablows7, can you prove any of these lies you always spew about Kentucky and Calipari? I didn't think so. You post on every UK article shown on this site. You are so jealous and envious of Kentucky that it is bordering on obsessive. PITT sucks. That is not Kentucky's fault. That is just the way it is. 



Since: Mar 3, 2009
Posted on: March 7, 2012 3:45 pm
 

What-to-know conference previews: SEC

can they vacate being the favorite because calipari is a cheater?



Since: Nov 14, 2007
Posted on: March 7, 2012 11:41 am
 

What-to-know conference previews: SEC

we be eating gator meat on sat then send the vols home crying on sunday off to louis cat ville for 2 games then off to meet up with my boys in catlanta for 2 more games then off to orleans again for the final 4  national champs  go big blue since 1951
 


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