As the thrill of March Madness is nearly upon us, I am offering my SEC tournament predictions. What follows is a prediction of where each team will fall into the bracket, as well as winners and losers all the way to the end. We’ll see in a few days how well these predictions turn out, or how much egg I’ll have to wipe off my face.
As bad as the SEC is this year, no one will probably even watch these games.
South Carolina vs. LSU—Virtually a toss-up between the two, with South Carolina edging out the Bayou Bengals, moving forward to play Tennessee
Auburn vs. Vanderbilt—No contest, Vandy wins, move on to play Arkansas
Alabama vs. Florida—Again no contest, Gators win, play Mississippi State in Round 2
Georgia vs. Mississippi—Ole Miss squeaks by the Dawgs and play Kentucky next
A few better matchups, look for the Vandy v. Arkansas game to be the best.
South Carolina vs. Tennessee—UT moves on to round three with an easy win
Vanderbilt vs. Arkansas—Classic SEC battle, Dores win and move on to play the Vols
Florida vs. Mississippi State—Gators win to establish first true upset of tournament
Mississippi v. Kentucky—Cats prove to be too much, play Florida for third time this season
Finally some quality basketball to watch with the top four East Division teams battling it out.
Vanderbilt vs. Tennessee—Another classic battle between two of the SEC’s best. Look for Tennessee to battle hard in an attempt to avenge their loss to the Dores, which knocked them from their No. 1 ranking.
Vanderbilt, even though they were victorious over UT early in the season, learns much from that game to improve in this contest. UT determined not to have a repeat performance does exactly that, repeats a dismal performance as they are not able to prevail in the end.
Look for Vandy to do just enough to repeat the performance it had the last time these titans clashed—win goes to Vanderbilt.
Florida vs. Kentucky—Showcase between the SEC’s most storied program, Kentucky, and the nation’s two-time defending champion, Florida. UK has been up and down this season having seen more of the upside as of late. Florida has the best coach in the conference and one of the best in the entire country.
Kentucky’s talent plays strong, but Florida’s coaching is the deciding factor—Gators move on to championship game.
The game of the year in the SEC.
Florida vs. Vanderbilt—Vanderbilt, after starting 2-4 in the SEC, has bounced back strong and has brought much national attention to it’s program, most notably in the win over Tennessee. Florida has been quiet all year, primarily due to its sub-par SEC performance, but overall still have achieved another 20+ win season.
Billy Donovan has done all that can be done for this young team. Losing all the talent he had last year has weighed heavily on Donovan and the Gators. Vanderbilt, under-appreciated and disregarded by many as being a legitimate contender, has much to prove to the basketball world.
Florida plays smart, has fewer mistakes and fouls; Vanderbilt plays sloppy at times, but in the end manages to pull away with talent and strong play in the paint.