SEC Tournament 2019
It’s been a strong season for SEC basketball, and some of the top teams in the country will be on display in the conference’s tournament this week.
The SEC tournament is back in Nashville this year, beginning on Wednesday, after it was held in St. Louis last season. The tourney is taking place at Bridgestone Arena, which hosted it from 2015-17.
Last year, no SEC teams were in the top 10 in the AP Top 25 poll entering the conference tournament. This season, there are three—No. 4 Kentucky, No. 8 Tennessee and No. 9 LSU. Auburn is also ranked at No. 22.
All 14 SEC teams will participate in the conference tournament, with a pair of first-round matchups starting the action on Wednesday.
SEC Tournament Schedule (All Times ET)
Wednesday, March 13
No. 12 Missouri vs. No. 13 Georgia (7 p.m., SEC Network)
No. 11 Texas A&M vs. No. 14 Vanderbilt (25 minutes after end of previous game, SEC Network)
Thursday, March 14
No. 8 Florida vs. No. 9 Arkansas (1 p.m., SEC Network)
No. 5 Auburn vs. Winner of No. 12 Missouri vs. No. 13 Georgia (25 minutes after end of previous game, SEC Network)
No. 7 Ole Miss vs. No. 10 Alabama (7 p.m., SEC Network)
No. 6 Mississippi State vs. Winner of No. 11 Texas A&M vs. No. 14 Vanderbilt (25 minutes after end of previous game, SEC Network)
Friday, March 15
No. 1 LSU vs. Winner of No. 8 Florida vs. No. 9 Arkansas (1 p.m., ESPN)
No. 4 South Carolina vs. Winner of No. 5 Auburn vs. No. 12 Missouri/No. 13 Georgia (25 minutes after end of previous game, ESPN)
No. 2 Kentucky vs. Winner of No. 7 Ole Miss vs. No. 10 Alabama (7 p.m., SEC Network)
No. 3 Tennessee vs. Winner of No. 6 Mississippi State vs. No. 11 Texas A&M/No. 14 Vanderbilt (25 minutes after end of previous game, SEC Network)
Saturday, March 16
Semifinal No. 1 (1 p.m., ESPN)
Semifinal No. 2 (25 minutes after end of previous game, ESPN)
Sunday, March 17
Championship (1 p.m., ESPN)
SEC Tournament Championship Odds (Via OddsShark)
Kentucky +200 (Bet $100 to win $200)
Mississippi State +1200
Ole Miss +4000
South Carolina +6600
Texas A&M +10000
Favorites: Kentucky and Tennessee
The Wildcats and Vols have the best odds to win this year’s SEC tournament championship, and it’s quite likely the two schools will match up in the semifinal on the bottom side of the bracket.
It’s easy to see why these two teams are the favorites entering the tourney. Kentucky and Tennessee played each other in last year’s tournament championship, and both have been strong teams this season.
The Wildcats are 26-5, with three of their losses coming against strong opponents in Duke, LSU and Tennessee. The Vols are 27-4, and they won 23 of their first 24 games this season.
Kentucky and Tennessee split its season series: The Wildcats won 86-69 on Feb. 16, while the Vols got revenge with a 71-52 victory on March 2.
There’s a good chance that whichever team wins the third meeting between these two schools in the semifinal will go on to win this year’s SEC tournament championship.
Last year, the Tigers shared the SEC regular-season championship with Tennessee. But as the No. 1 seed in the conference tourney, they lost their first game, falling to Alabama in the quarterfinals.
The outside expectations aren’t quite as high for Auburn this year. The Tigers are 22-9, winning their last four games of the regular season to climb to the No. 5 seed for this year’s SEC tournament.
However, Auburn could be building momentum at the right time after beating Tennessee to end the regular season.
If the Tigers reach the final, they may have to knock off No. 1 seed LSU in the semifinal. After falling as the top seed last year, this could be Auburn’s chance to have that happen to the Tigers this season.
The Wildcats have dominated the SEC tournament in recent seasons, and that run won’t come to an end yet.
Although the conference has more strong teams than in some past years, Kentucky is still the best among the group. With head coach John Calipari at the helm, the Wildcats typically round into form around March.
That won’t be any different this year. The Wildcats will win their fifth straight SEC tournament championship and secure a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.