Southern men talk a lot about football but nothing is more exciting than SEC basketball. The tourney is underway in Nashville and here’s the scoop from SB Nation.
The SEC might not have the elite teams that the ACC, Big Ten or Big 12 boast, but the league’s conference tournament arguably has the most important bubble implications of any power conference.
Florida, Alabama and, to a lesser extent, Vanderbilt, are all on the bubble and need wins in the SEC Tournament to ensure that they’ll be in the field of 68 next week. Others are jockeying for position. Kentucky and Texas A&M are both trying to get higher seeds, as they’ve already locked up pretty solid ones, while South Carolina is trying to avoid an eight-nine game.
The bubble teams will be hoping they can win big against the favorites.
Missouri is banned from the postseason this year, so the tournament has a weird, 13-team format. Only the bottom two teams, No. 12 Tennessee and No. 13 Auburn, play on the first day of the tournament. The winner of that matchup plays No. 5 Vanderbilt. Also in the second round: No. 8 Florida vs. No. 9 Arkansas, No. 7 Ole Miss vs. No. 10 Alabama and No. 6 Georgia vs. No. 11 Mississippi State. The top four teams — No. 1 Texas A&M, No. 2 Kentucky, No. 3 South Carolina and No. 4 LSU — get double byes.
1. Texas A&M
3. South Carolina
7. Ole Miss
11. Mississippi State
Wednesday, March 9 (First Round)
Game 1: No. 12 Tennessee 97, No. 13 Auburn 59
Thursday, March 10 (Second Round)
Game 2: No. 8 Florida vs. No. 9 Arkansas (1 p.m., SEC Network)
Game 3: No. 5 Vanderbilt vs. No. 12 Tennessee (approx. 3:30 p.m., SEC Network)
Game 4: No. 7 Ole Miss vs. No. 10 Alabama (7 p.m., SEC Network)
Game 5: No. 6 Georgia vs. No. 11 Mississippi State (approx. 9:30 p.m., SEC Network)
Friday, March 11 (Quarterfinals)
Game 6: No. 1 Texas A&M vs. Game 2 winner (1 p.m., SEC Network)
Game 7: No. 4 LSU vs. Game 3 winner (approx. 3:30 p.m., SEC Network)
Game 8: No. 2 Kentucky vs. Game 4 winner (7 p.m., SEC Network)
Game 9: No. 3 South Carolina vs. Game 5 winner (approx. 9:30 p.m., SEC Network)
Saturday, March 12 (Semifinals)
Game 10: Game 6 winner vs. Game 7 winner (1 p.m., ESPN)
Game 11: Game 8 winner vs. Game 9 winner (3:30 p.m., ESPN)
Sunday, March 13 (Championship)
Game 12: Game 10 winner vs. Game 11 winner (1 p.m., ESPN)