SEC Basketball

SEC Tournament 2014: Full Schedule, Bracket Information and Predictions

Florida guard Scottie Wilbekin (5) holds up a piece of the net after the Gators became the first team in Southeastern Conference history to go 18-0 in league pla, Saturday, March 8, 2014 in Gainesville, Fla.    Florida defeated Kentucky 84-65 Saturday in an NCAA college basketball game. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin)
Phil Sandlin/Associated Press
R. Cory SmithSenior Writer IMarch 10, 2014

The SEC season has been a predictable one that's seen one team, the Florida Gators, roll through the conference and clinch the No. 1 seed in the tournament and in the country.

But with the conference tournament starting up Wednesday night, every other team in the SEC has hopes of dethroning the Gators and earning a guaranteed berth into the NCAA tournament field.

Around the SEC's Twitter account provides a look at the bracket for the much-anticipated tournament:

The seeds are set! Here is your 2014 #SEC Tournament bracket! pic.twitter.com/3lMun2Hm9b

— Around The SEC (@AroundTheSEC) March 9, 2014

While teams like Kentucky and Georgia proved they have the pedigree to stick with Florida this year, neither has been able to topple the best team in the country. The Wildcats closed out the regular season with a crushing loss, 84-65, to the Gators.

Outside of the top three teams in the conference, several other programs sit on the NCAA tournament bubble with prospects of making the field. Tennessee, Arkansas and Missouri all have .500 records or better in the SEC and are in prime position to earn a berth with a run in Atlanta.

Here is a look at the entire schedule and predictions for the action starting on Wednesday.

2014 SEC Tournament Schedule
DateTime (ET)Team 1Team 2TV Info
Wed., March 127 p.m.No. 12 AuburnNo. 13 South CarolinaSEC TV
Wed., March 12Following Game 1No. 11 VanderbiltNo. 14 Mississippi StateSEC TV
Thurs., March 131 p.m.No. 8 MissouriNo. 9 Texas A&MSEC TV
Thurs., March 13Following Game 3Game 1 WinnerNo. 5 ArkansasSEC TV
Thurs., March 137 p.m.No. 7 LSUNo. 10 AlabamaSEC TV
Thurs., March 13Following Game 5Game 2 WinnerNo. 6 Ole MissSEC TV
Fri., March 141 p.m.Game 3 WinnerNo. 1 FloridaESPNU
Fri., March 14Following Game 7Game 4 WinnerNo. 4 TennesseeESPNU
Fri., March 147 p.m.Game 5 WinnerNo. 2 KentuckySEC TV
Fri., March 14Following Game 9Game 6 WinnerNo. 3 GeorgiaSEC TV
Sat., March 151 p.m.Game 7 WinnerGame 8 WinnerABC
Sat., March 15Following Game 11Game 9 WinnerGame 10 WinnerABC
Sun., March 163:15 p.m.Game 11 WinnerGame 12 WinnerESPN
SECDigitalNetwork.com

 

SEC Tournament Prediction

Phil Sandlin/Associated Press

It's been a fairly easy road for the Gators, but the SEC tournament isn't just about Florida once again showing their dominance. And while it wasn't quite the year the Wildcats expected, they have a solidified spot in the field along with Florida and Georgia.

That type of hype around the top teams in the bracket makes the teams just below them add even more fire to the flame.

One team to watch in the tournament certainly has to be No. 5 Arkansas. The Razorbacks put on a great late-season run with six straight wins but were throttled in the season finale by Alabama.

Gareth Patterson/Associated Press

With a chance to get back on track against one of the bottom seeds in either Vanderbilt or Mississippi State, the Razorbacks could be a surprise team to watch. Arkansas will need their star freshman Bobby Portis to remain on the court throughout the tournament to have a chance.

Hawgs Illustrated points out the importance of Portis staying out of foul trouble:

Bobby Portis - on the bench with 2 fouls - is 2-of-4 from the field for Arkansas. His teammates are 1-of-13.

Hawgs Illustrated (@HImagazine) March 8, 2014

As for the favorites to win the whole tournament, it's hard to pick against the Gators.

Florida has not only run over every SEC team en route to becoming the No. 1 team in the country, it hasn't played in a close game since going to overtime with Arkansas back on Jan. 11.

The feat is clearly a special one for both coach Billy Donovan and his team, per a press conference from ESPN.com:

When you invest four years likes these guys have invested, it means something to them. They're going to carry this with them for the rest of their lives. They're going to have their children and they're going to come back here and they're going to be remembered for what they've done. 

They've done something that's not happened here before.

Thanks to Scottie Wilbekin running the point and the rest of the team thriving under his senior leadership, the Gators have earned the target that's placed upon their back. And they don't seem to mind it.

Coming in as the No. 1 seed, the Gators will once again roll through the field to win their first tournament championship since 2007. That just so happens to be the same year Florida won its last NCAA title.

With a lot on the line and several of the country's top teams looking to knock them off, the Gators will once again shatter the hopes of their opponents on the way to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

 

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