The SEC tournament is upon us. March 8 marks the first round of SEC tournament action, and the eight teams that make up the conference's first four games need big performances from their star athletes if they hope to make the NCAA tournament.
Many of these eight teams are still vying for an NCAA tournament bid. The easiest way to do that is to win. Some of these teams need to win the entire conference tournament to make the Big Dance, while others need to win one or two games to solidify their case.
But with all eight teams shooting for the same goal, star performances will determine which team gets to advance. Here are four key players that will need to play their best for their team to win.
Arkansas and LSU will begin the first round of action in the SEC tournament.
And BJ Young will be a key component if the Razorbacks expect to win.
He's their leading scorer at 15.3 points per game. In the two games Arkansas played against LSU, Young scored 19 and 3. Arkansas won only one of those games.
His play fuels the Arkansas offense, and his play is integral to the success of the Razorbacks in this tournament. They could still swing an at-large bid if they win their first two SEC games.
Alabama has had a rough conference season.
JaMychal Green was absent for four conference games, and the Crimson Tide went 2-2. In their lone game against South Carolina, Green was non-existent, going 2-of-4 from the floor and amassing only six points.
Green needs to perform to keep Alabama's NCAA tournament hopes alive. They should win against South Carolina in the SEC tournament, but if they don't, they may not make the Big Dance.
Terrance Henry is the leading scorer for Mississippi but hasn't quite put it together against Auburn.
In their two regular-season games, Henry has a combined nine points.
No one is expecting Mississippi to make it far in the SEC tournament, but if they can get their offense working behind Henry, anything could happen.
Mississippi State has gone from a surefire NCAA tournament appearance to squarely on the bubble. If they lose to Georgia in the first round of the SEC tournament, their stock will drop even lower.
They lost to Georgia earlier this year (at home) in overtime. Arnett Moultrie finished the game below his season average in points and rebounds, and was ineffective with three turnovers and three fouls.
The Bulldogs were supposed to be one of the stronger teams in the SEC, but a six seed is where they have fallen to. Look for Moultrie and Dee Bost to right the ship in New Orleans.