SEC Tournament Bracket 2012: Biggest Roadblocks for Kentucky

Eric BallFeatured ColumnistMarch 9, 2012

NASHVILLE, TN - FEBRUARY 11: John Jenkins #23 of the Vanderbilt Commodores drives against Marquis Teague #25 of the Kentucky Wildcats at Memorial Gymnasium on February 11, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. Kentucky won 69-63. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Kentucky Wildcats are one buzz-beater away from a perfect record and enter the SEC tournament as far and away the favorites.

That’s what happens when you win the league by a ridiculous six games.

But with three games in three days and a roster full of freshmen and sophomores, the Wildcats are certainly no lock to win this week.

With that in mind, here are the three teams that can shock the ‘Cats and land an automatic bid. (Click here for full bracket)

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - FEBRUARY 18:    Patric Young #4 of the Florida Gators blocks out Devonta Abron #4 of the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bud Walton Arena on February 18, 2012 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  The Gators defeated the Razorbacks 98-68.  (Photo by Wesle
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images


No. 2 Florida Gators

The combination of Kenny Boynton, Bradley Beal, Erving Walker and Patric Young make Florida a potential Final Four sleeper.

But for now, it is focused on Kentucky. The Gators are ranked 24th in the country in scoring (76.8) and have a tendency to live and die by the three. UK doesn’t have many weaknesses, but the Wildcats do get lazy with their perimeter defense at times and can be susceptible to hot-shooting teams like Indiana in their only loss.

Nobody has the talent to match Kentucky like the Gators.


No. 3 Vanderbilt Commodores

The reason to love Vandy is its experience. Nobody in the SEC has five of its top six scorers as seniors, with the other being a junior. The Commodores are tournament-tested and are the one team that has the strong mental edge of the young bucks of Kentucky.    

John Jenkins is the purest shooter in the conference and will be given plenty of opportunities to show why. A team that hits 46 percent of their shots makes this team just as dangerous as Florida, without the reliance on three-pointers.


No. 5 Alabama Crimson Tide

The Tide are rolling of late, winning eight of 11 including a win in Round 1 against South Carolina.

LEXINGTON, KY - JANUARY 21:  Terrence Jones #3 of the Kentucky Wildcats and Jamychal Green#1 of the Alabama Crimson Tide battle for a loose ball during the game at Rupp Arena on January 21, 2012 in Lexington, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

With JaMychal Green, Tony Mitchell and Trevor Releford, they possess three versatile scorers that all shoot for a high percentage. The depth they hold off the bench is a reason they can hang with UK as long as they keep the tempo to their liking. That means as slow as a snail.

Keeping the Wildcats' possessions to a minimum is a huge key for the Tide to shorten the game. They are capable of beating Kentucky, which means they can win the whole thing.