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Kentucky Basketball

Mapping Kentucky's SEC Tournament Schedule

March 8, 2020
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Kentucky finished SEC play 15-3 with a three-game lead over Auburn and LSU, securing the top seed in the SEC tournament in Nashville and the double-bye that comes along with it. They will play all of their games at noon on ESPN beginning on Friday.

Kentucky is clearly in the NCAA tournament, but their seeding is still very much in flux, which is why a deep run in the SEC tournament is still important. Most have the Cats as a low two or a high three seed right now, but I would think a two, three, or four (with a loss in the Quarterfinals) would be possible. Outside of seeding, it is important for the Cats to be hitting on all cylinders going into the NCAA tournament, so getting Ashton Hagans back into the fold will be important for this team.

To get you ready for the tournament, let’s take a look at their possible opponents.

First Round - Quarterfinals - Friday, March 13 at Noon

As the one seed, Kentucky will take on the winner of the 8-9 game between Tennessee and Alabama. Tennessee is the 8 seed, finishing 9-9 in conference play this year. The two teams played at Alabama this year, with Tennessee coming back to win 69-68 behind 20-point games from John Fulkerson and Jordan Bowden. Alabama loves to play fast and shoots by far the most threes of any SEC team, taking over half of their attempts from behind the arc. Tennessee tries to control the pace, playing at the second-slowest rate in the SEC. It will be an interesting clash of styles with Alabama’s accuracy from downtown likely deciding the outcome of the game.

Kentucky split with Tennessee this year, winning in Knoxville 77-64 before collapsing against the Vols at home. Kentucky played Alabama just once, beating the Crimson Tide 76-67 at home.

Second Round - Semifinals - Saturday, March 14 at Noon

Assuming they win their first game, Kentucky will meet one of four teams in the Semifinals - Georgia, Ole Miss, Florida, and Mississippi State. Ole Miss and Georgia, the 12 and 13 seeds play on Wednesday to see who advances to face the 5-seed Florida Gators. The winner of that game will move on to face 4-seed Mississippi State in the Quarterfinals. 

Ole Miss and Georgia met once in the regular season, with Breein Tyree scoring 20 points to lead the Rebels to a 70-60 victory in Athens. This matchup will feature two of the best guards in the conference, with Tyree going up against a likely top-five pick in Anthony Edwards. 

Kentucky went 6-0 against this group, playing Florida and Georgia twice while getting the two Mississippi schools once. Florida and Mississippi State are both going to be playing for the NCAA tournament. Florida is likely in regardless, while Mississippi State is currently sitting on the wrong side of the bubble. A deep run in the tournament could significantly help the Bulldogs chances, so they will surely be hungry for a win. 

Finals - Sunday, March 15 at Noon

I won’t list the rest of the teams on the other side of the bracket, since it is the other half of the league, but will say that Auburn and LSU are the two most likely teams to make the finals. The Tigers are the two and three seeds and are the most likely to advance to the finals. Despite being the 11-seed, Arkansas is a team that could make a run and challenge one of the higher-seeded teams, so be on the lookout for the Razorbacks.

 

The complete bracket: 

 

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Mapping Kentucky's SEC Tournament Schedule

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