Tuesday, March 12, 2013

SEC Tournament Preview and Predictions

March is finally here. If you're a college basketball fan this time of the year is like Christmas, only better because you don't feel inclined to buy gifts for family, friends and co-workers that you aren't quite sure you like. I've been taking days off for the tournament since I was a boy. My father would be kind enough to let me skip school on the first Thursday and Friday of the NCAA Tournament, and I've been blowing off school, work, friendships and any other responsibility for the tournament ever since. Thanks, Dad.

I usually don't take off for the SEC Tournament unless I have the means to attend the event, preferring instead to keep up with it while at work. However, this year's tournament promises to be an entertaining affair due to the parity in the middle of the conference and the recent unsteady play of Florida at the top. Not to mention, a brother can use a day off now and then.

For those of you in need of an SEC Tournament bracket, click here

Obviously our beloved Crimson Tide basketball team enter this tournament in dire need of victories in order to boost its at-large hopes. The road will not be easy as Alabama faces potential tests from the hottest team in the conference (Tennessee) and a rematch with the top dog in the conference (Florida) just to reach the final game on Sunday. Alabama isn't the only bubble team looking to make a statement in Nashville. Only Florida and Missouri (strangely enough, the 6 seed in this tournament) are projected safely in the field at this point. Kentucky, Tennessee, Ole Miss and even the likes of Arkansas and LSU all still have at-large hopes should they make it to Sunday. The competition should be fierce, resulting in plenty of good basketball.

This is also the first year of the new format in the SEC involving fourteen teams. As a result, the SEC Tournament begins a day earlier on Wednesday with opening round games featuring the bottom four teams of Texas A&M, South Carolina, Mississippi State and Auburn. These teams are all long-shots to go far in this tournament, but never underestimate a desperate team playing to extend their season by one more game.

Here are my predictions for the tournament. Please include your own predictions in the comments section. Those of you who score the highest number of correct picks win......nothing. Sorry. We're not that kind of blog.


Mississippi State>South Carolina
Texas A&M>Auburn


Tennessee>Mississippi State


Alabama>Tennessee (picking with my heart, not my head)
Missouri>Ole Miss


Alabama>Florida (really picking with my heart)


Missouri>Alabama (my heart only holds so much sway over me)

Should Alabama do my heart proud and make it to Sunday, would that be enough to get over the at-large hump? Let's hope that question is still relevant come Sunday morning.


DJC said...

I think most of us would certainly take that. I think we have a chance to win the whole thing, but I'm not going to predict it. Even if we make it to Sunday, I think we are going to need some help to get in. Just for fun :

South Carolina over $tate

aTm over auburn

LSU over UGA

Tennessee over SC

Arkansas over Vandy

Mizzou over aTm

Florida over LSU

Tennessee over Bama

Arkansas over Kentucky

Ole Miss over Mizzou

Tennessee over Florida
Arkansas over Ole Miss

Tennessee over Arkansas.

bobbyjack said...

Mizzou has relatively easy run to the Finals. I'll go with them as well. UF is probably locked as a 3 seed so winning the SECT probably doesn't help them much.
I think we have to win the tourney... unless 5 or so teams 'ahead' of us lose early. I also have Arkansas playing on Saturday with UGA playing on Friday.

Truth is the SECT is wide open. Only 2 teams have NO SHOT at winning it... M$U and the Barn. Even SC Lite can make a run.

Msmilie said...

First of all, I know our chances to make Sunday are slim, but I never pick with my heart so I'm going to see if it makes a difference (probably not)

Both of you guys really like Arkansas to make a run this week. What is it about them that you like?

DJC said...

More of a gut feeling than anything. With all the parity, I could see someone like BJ Young suddenly getting hot and openning up things for Powell down low. They don't play well on the road, so picking them over UK is probably misguided given that will be like a home atmosphere for the Cats, but this Kentucky team just hasn't shown the maturity and focus yet, and I think Arkansas has the talent to be very tough when put in this "fight for their life" type of situation. Of course, Vandy will probably make 24 threes and put them away in the first round.

Msmilie said...

One of the reasons I picked Vandy is, because the tournament is in Nashville, I thought Vandy would have a vocal crowd on their side in that first game, which would be like a home game and play into that whole Arkansas struggles away from home thing. I do like Arkansas' talent, but I don't think Anderson has been able to completely change the culture of the program yet. I think these players have struggled to buy into his system through the first two years. BJ Young in particular, despite his obvious talent, seems to let his emotions get the better of him (a la Tony Mitchell) and I'm not sure how coachable he and some of the other kids on that team are. Eventually Anderson will get things figured out there, but it's been a sketchy first two years for him.

I agree with you about Kentucky, though I think they were starting to put it together before Noel got hurt. He disguised a lot of their shortcomings with his dominant play around the basket. I have to give Cal credit. That team has been on life support a few times this season, but continue to benefit from well-timed victories at home.

crimsontider said...

If we make it to Sunday we are in.

crimsontider said...

My predictions
Day 1:
SC Lite over $tate
aTm over Auburn
Day 2:
UGA over LSU
UT over SC Lite
Vandy over ARK
Mizzou over aTm
Day 3:
Florida over UGA
Bama over UT
UK over Vandy
Mizzou over Ole Miss

Fla over Bama
Mizzou over UK
Mizzou over FLA

bobbyjack said...

Pretty much DJC said... and I think Powell goes off.

Vandy might be at 'home' but they are AUful. I don't expect it to be much of a Vandy home crowd (similar to UGA's 'home' presence in Atlanta).

crimsontider said...

In other news my thoughts and prayers are with Mal Moore right now. Mal was hospitalized with pulmonary problems. I'm sure everybody's condolences are with Mal and his family right now.