SEC Tournament 2014: Predictions and Championship Odds for Every Team
Remember how enjoyable SEC football was this fall?
Well, think of the polar opposite of that and you have the perfect description for the 2013-14 SEC basketball season.
Florida went 18-0 in the regular season and easily earned the No. 1 seed at the conference tournament in Atlanta, which will be held from March 12-16.
Kentucky is the only other team that has a legitimate chance to make the NCAA tournament at the moment, which could make the five days of play in Atlanta really interesting.
Continue reading for odds and team-by-team predictions for the 2014 SEC tournament.
No. 14 Mississippi State
The Bulldogs' odds could have easily been higher, but we shouldn't ridicule them more because they already have the dubious honor of being the No. 14 seed.
Rick Ray's team is 0-10 on the road and haven't won since January 22 against Auburn in Starkville.
Other than a potential upset win over Vanderbilt in the first round, don't expect much out of Mississippi State.
No. 13 South Carolina
It's a shame we haven't seen Frank Martin's sideline theatrics on a bigger stage this season, but that's what you get when you're trying to build a program.
Martin's Gamecocks did win two of their final three games in the regular season, but South Carolina has not defeated first-round opponent Auburn in two meetings this year.
The Gamecocks are also terrible away from home, as they have one win on the road, which came against Mississippi State.
No. 12 Auburn
If only we could use the superlatives we used about the Auburn football team to describe the Auburn basketball team.
The Tigers have only won twice on the road and have just six conference victories to brag about.
None of those wins came against potential NCAA tournament teams, but two of them did come against South Carolina, who they face on Wednesday.
If the Tigers do defeat the Gamecocks, expect them to fall to a desperate Arkansas team in the second round.
No. 11 Vanderbilt
The good news for Vanderbilt is that it gets to face Mississippi State in its opening game in Atlanta.
The bad news for the Commodores is that they are riding a four-game losing streak.
Vanderbilt does have a slim chance of pulling off an upset in the next round over No. 6 Ole Miss, but it will need to find a way to stop Marshall Henderson, who will be looking to show off in the SEC tournament for the second straight year.
No. 10 Alabama
The Crimson Tide have not won a single game on the road this season, and they are 0-2 on a neutral court, which makes you want to count them out of an upset run.
In all honesty, you shouldn't expect Anthony Grant's team to get past LSU, but stranger things have happened, like the Tide defeating LSU by two at home on January 25.
No. 9 Texas A&M
Texas A&M's first game in Atlanta will have a Big 12 feel to it because it will take on an old foe in Missouri.
The Aggies do have a legitimate chance of enacting revenge on a team that beat them on March 5 by a single point in Columbia.
Having that extra motivation to play with won't hurt, but playing Florida in the quarterfinals will.
The Gators held Texas A&M to 36 points in their only meeting back on February 1 in Gainesville.
No. 8 Missouri
Mizzou will most likely face the same fate as Texas A&M would if it faces Florida in the quarterfinal round.
Barring a historic upset by the Tigers, they only have a chance to win one game in Atlanta.
The Tigers have won five of their last eight, which is a streak that should give them enough momentum to blow past Texas A&M for the second time in a week.
No. 7 LSU
The dark horse of the SEC tournament is LSU.
The Tigers have a favorable second-round matchup with Alabama that would lead them into a clash with No. 2 Kentucky in the quarterfinal round.
If LSU can avoid looking ahead to a rematch against the Wildcats, we could see the first big upset of the SEC tournament in that quarterfinal game.
The Johnny O'Bryant-led Tigers defeated Kentucky in Baton Rouge on January 28 and pushed it into overtime in Lexington on February 22.
Having already played two solid games against Kentucky, the Tigers must be liking their chances to go on a run in Atlanta and maybe steal the automatic bid.
No. 6 Ole Miss
Let's all be honest here, everyone would love to see Marshall Henderson take over the SEC tournament for the second consecutive year.
The defending tournament champions have a favorable draw to do so as well, with the winner of the Vanderbilt vs. Mississippi State game up first, followed by a potential clash with No. 3 Georgia.
For those worried about the Rebels winning only four of their last 11 games, they only won six of their final 11 regular-season clashes before dominating in Nashville last season.
A trip down memory lane for Andy Kennedy's team could provide us with some bubble theatrics as the weekend approaches.
No. 5 Arkansas
Assuming Arkansas takes care of business against either Auburn or South Carolina in the second round, it will play in a quarterfinal with massive bubble implications.
The winner of the Arkansas vs. Tennessee game will do itself plenty of favors in regards to the NCAA tournament.
The Razorbacks already lost once to the Vols, and they are 3-8 on the road and neutral courts this season.
Because of its brutal record away from Fayetteville, Arkansas is at a disadvantage heading into Atlanta.
No. 4 Tennessee
The Vols may have hit their stride a tad late in order to affect their fate in Atlanta.
Cuonzo Martin's ballclub finished a game behind Georgia in the standings, and as a consequence, they were drawn in Florida's half of the bracket.
Not only could Tennessee face the Gators in the semis, but it will most likely play Arkansas in a bubble battle in the quarterfinals.
Basically what we're getting at here is that the Vols need to move mountains in order to make it past the semis and solidify their spot in the field of 68.
No. 3 Georgia
You have to like your luck if you are a Georgia fan.
The Bulldogs avoided Florida and earned the No. 3 seed as they look to impress the selection committee during their business trip to Atlanta.
Mark Fox's team has lost just twice since February 6, and it has a chance to earn a marquee win against Kentucky in the semis.
The problem with that scenario is that both the Dawgs and Wildcats are susceptible to upsets.
If Georgia can avoid a disappointing loss before the semis, it could be playing for its NCAA tournament bid against Kentucky.
The Bulldogs can also avoid the bubble drama by simply winning three games in three days at the Georgia Dome.
No. 2 Kentucky
Remember when Kentucky was supposed to go 40-0?
Yeah, those were the good ol' days when games were played on paper, not on the court.
The Wildcats are stumbling into the SEC tournament with losses in three of their past four games, and they could face an upset threat from LSU in the quarterfinals, and then from Georgia in the semifinals.
Those in Big Blue nation are hoping this week is the one when the crop of talented freshmen finally comes together and gains momentum into the Big Dance.
That could happen, but it is more likely that Kentucky will face a struggle in its attempt to take on Florida for the third time this season.
No. 1 Florida
No one will be picking against Florida when it's time to make predictions for the SEC tournament.
The Gators went through regular-season play unscathed, and they are one of the favorites to cut down the nets in Dallas.
Florida will have to win a game or two in Atlanta to ensure itself of a No. 1 seed in the Big Dance, if it hasn't completed that task already.
With a full head of steam heading into Atlanta, expect the Gators to win the tournament given how weak the rest of the conference is compared to them.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.
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