The SEC Tournament has a field of 14 teams and will start on Thursday with the first matchup starting at 6. The matchup will feature the Georgia Bulldogs vs the Ole Miss Rebels. The SEC announced that the first round of games will be played despite the virus although the remainder of the tournament will be re-evaluated throughout today. This tournament should be interesting with 2 bubble teams and 4 locks in the field. 

Bubble Teams

The SEC features two bubble teams who are both in a tough spot to get into the tournament. The Mississippi State Bulldogs are 20-11 with a NET ranking in the 50s. Currently, they are in CBS’s first four out and ESPN’s next first four out in the latest bracketology projections. In order to get into the field of 68 MSU will need a few wins in the conference tournament. Since the Bulldogs are the four seed in this tourney they have a double-bye and will play in the quarterfinals potentially against the Gators. A win there could push MSU right into the conversation and one more win would put them in the bracket. The other march madness hopeful in the SEC is the Arkansas Razorbacks. This team was one of the teams on the right side of the bubble in the weeks leading up to the tourney. Now they find themselves on the wrong side of the bubble with a win or die situation. The Razorbacks will need to win at least three games to be in the conversation for a bubble spot. This would include wins against Vandy, South Carolina, and LSU. This will be a tough task for Arkansas, one that isn’t very likely considering their recent struggles.

Intriguing Matchups

The most intriguing matchup in this tournament would be in the semi-finals with LSU playing Auburn. The regular season matchup was very exciting as Auburn escaped with a one point victory 91-90. Both teams are fighting for seeds and have been playing well lately. Another interesting matchup would be Florida vs MSU in the quarterfinals. The Bulldogs need this win to avoid elimination while the Gators could avoid a one seed in the second round with a win. The regular season matchup was won by the Bulldogs by 7, expect this next game to be much closer with what’s a stake.

Predictions 

I think this tournament should have the favorites winning pretty much throughout the tourney. The only upset team I can see outside the top 4 is the Razorbacks, which is still a risk with their up and down play. Otherwise, I see the top four advancing and Auburn winning the championship against the Kentucky Wildcats. The Tigers have been in sync in these last few games and have figured out their defense. That helps propel Bruce Pearl’s squad to back to back SEC championships.

Top Picture by Andy Lyons from Getty Images

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