The SEC Tournament is set to begin March 8. For some, the stakes have never been higher.
SEC Tournament Round 1
The SEC Tournament opens up with a round one contest between South Carolina and Ole Miss this Wednesday at 7 p.m. The action extends through the night when Georgia and LSU take the court at 9. Simply put, these teams are desperate. Performing in the bottom four in SEC standings gives these teams one hope for tournament entry – conquering the SEC Tournament. The odds that these teams win the SEC Tournament are astonishingly low, sitting at +50000 to +100000.
The 2023 SEC Tournament Bracket. pic.twitter.com/zje4h76PWh
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 5, 2023
Round two is where things begin to get interesting. Play begins at 1 p.m. on Thursday with Florida and Mississippi State. The Bulldogs have had a rollercoaster-like season, and find themselves scratching and clawing for a bid into March. Without a win over the Gators, Hail States’ tournament dreams will be crushed. Florida, on the other hand, doesn’t just need to win this one game, they need to take home the whole thing. The Gators chances of obtaining a bid if they do not win the SEC tournament are slim.
Next, Tennessee takes on the winner of Ole Miss and the Gamecocks. For Tennessee, their bid is just about secured. While nothing is final, they have done enough this season to secure entry to march. Whoever wins the first round match, the Rebels or South Carolina, will need a win over Tennessee to stay alive.
Arkansas took this season by storm, but finished out as just a little drizzle. The Razorbacks dropped three straight to finish regular up season play. Arkansas expects tournament entry based on their regular season play and strength of schedule, but a win over Auburn would cement their bid. At this point in the season, Auburn will very likely be in the tournament, the question is where? A win over the number 12 Tennessee Vols to end the season boosted their seeding immensely, and depending on how they perform in the tournament the Tigers could be as high as a 6 seed in March.
Believe in the Bubble – Vandy Has a Shot
Vanderbilt, the 6 seed in the SEC Tournament, will face the winner of LSU and Georgia in the first round. Vanderbilt, whom many considered down and out, won eight of their last nine to finish the season to put themselves back in the bubble. While their chances are low, if Vandy can win their opening game and then go on to defeat Kentucky all while Auburn looses their opening match to Arkansas, the Commodores may just sneak into March.
At this point, most teams seeded 10 and above on today's #BubbleWatch tracker should feel pretty comfortable about their tournament chances. #NCAA #Tournament #Bracketology #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/YtDixi3JdF
— NJ Bracketology (@NJBracketology) March 6, 2023
The top four teams in the SEC, Bama, Texas A&M, Kentucky and Missouri, each received a two round buy in the bracket. The Crimson Tide, likely a one seed in this years tournament, have secured at least a spot in march. A&M, the Wildcats and Missouri each are just about locked into march as well, but do not have crazy jumping room in their seedings even with an SEC tournament win.
Odds to Win the SEC Tournament
Texas A&M: +500
Who will come out on top?
— Nate Bilgoray (@BilgorayNate) March 6, 2023
The SEC Tournament begins March 8.