SEC Tournament 2017: Bracket, Schedule and Championship Odds

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 6, 2017

Kentucky's Malik Monk, right, shoots over the defense Florida's Canyon Barry during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, in Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo/James Crisp)
James Crisp/Associated Press

The 2017 SEC men's basketball tournament doesn't provide as much intrigue as previous years (at least on paper). Barring a big upset, the teams that will emerge from this conference to participate in the NCAA tournament are all but set, at least according to ESPN's Andy Katz:

Still, this is March we are talking about, and the SEC once had a last-place team win the tournament (Georgia, in 2008), so anything can happen.

Below you'll find the SEC tournament schedule, bracket and a quick preview and prediction.

Schedule

DateTime (ET)GameRoundMatchupTelevision
Wednesday, March 87 p.m.1FirstNo. 13 LSU vs. No. 12 Mississippi SateSEC Network
Wednesday, March 825 minutes after Game 12FirstNo. 14 Missouri vs. No. 11 AuburnSEC Network
Thursday, March 91 p.m.3SecondNo. 9 Tennessee vs. No. 8 GeorgiaSEC Network
Thursday, March 925 minutes after Game 34SecondGame 1 winner vs. No. 5 AlabamaSEC Network
Thursday, March 97 p.m.5SecondNo. 10 Texas A&M vs. No. 7 VanderbiltSEC Network
Thursday, March 925 minutes after Game 56SecondGame 2 winner vs. No. 6 Ole MissSEC Network
Friday, March 101 p.m.7QuarterfinalsGame 3 winner vs. No. 1 KentuckySEC Network
Friday, March 1025 minutes after Game 88QuarterfinalsGame 4 winner vs. No. 4 South CarolinaSEC Network
Friday, March 107 p.m.9QuarterfinalsGame 5 winner vs. No. 2 FloridaSEC Network
Friday, March 1025 minutes after Game 910QuarterfinalsGame 6 winner vs. No. 3 ArkansasSEC Network
Saturday, March 111 p.m.11SemifinalsGame 7 winner vs. Game 8 winnerESPN
Saturday, March 1125 minutes after Game 1112SemifinalsGame 9 winner vs. Game 10 winnerESPN
Sunday, March 121 p.m.13FinalGame 11 winner vs. Game 12 winnerESPN

Bracket

Odds

TeamOdds
Kentucky+100
Florida+165
South Carolina+900
Arkansas+1400
Vanderbilt+1600
Georgia+3300
Alabama+3300
Texas A&M+3300
Tennessee+4000
Ole Miss+4000
Auburn+5000
Mississippi State+8000
Missouri+15000
LSU+20000

Odds via BetOnline (h/t OddsShark)

Preview

As the odds suggest, two teams are favorites to the win this tournament, with three others having outside shots at playing the dark horse.

It'd be a surprise if UK doesn't come away with the SEC title, however. The Wildcats have two of the best players in the country in guards De'Aaron Fox and Malik Monk, who will all but certainly be picked in the top half of the NBA draft (perhaps even the top 10).

UK is also a well-rounded team, as it stands as only one of two squads with top-15 rankings in both offensive and defensive efficiency, per the Ken Pomeroy rankings. The other is Gonzaga.

Speaking of those rankings, Florida has enjoyed a resurgent season, thanks to an elite defense that Pomeroy ranks fourth in the nation, after failing to make the NCAA tournament last year.

Senior guard Kasey Hill is the key for this team. He can do a little of everything as this stat suggests:

Hill knows a thing or two about being part of a winning team, as he was a key member of the rotation on the 2013-14 Gators, which went undefeated through SEC play and made the Final Four before losing to eventual national champion UConn.

Like Hill, South Carolina senior guard Sindarius Thornwell can do a little of everything, except he's doing so on an incredible scale this year. Thornwell finished with 21.2 points (second in the SEC), 7.3 rebounds (sixth in the SEC) and 2.2 steals (first in the SEC). He's scored at least 21 points in seven of the Gamecocks' eight games to close the regular season.

The problem with the Gamecocks right now is that they are cold heading into postseason play, losing five of their last eight games.

On the flip side, the Arkansas Razorbacks have finished strong, winning five of their last six and earning the No. 3 seed in the SEC tournament. Arkansas has a balanced scoring attack, with four players averaging between 12 and 15 points per game. Senior guard Dusty Hannahs leads the way with 14.6 points a game.

While those four teams are strong, Vanderbilt might be the most dangerous team right now. It just beat Florida on Saturday, 73-71, and took UK to the limit, losing 73-67 in Lexington after blowing a 19-point lead in the first half.

The Commodores have won five of their last six (their only loss being that defeat to UK) and, like Arkansas, feature a balanced scoring attack, with four players putting up between 10 and 14 points a game.

Prediction

UK is going to have to play two tough games in the semifinals and final, but in the end, take the Wildcats to beat the Gators for the SEC title.

As for the other three teams mentioned, Arkansas will lose to Florida in the semifinals, Vandy will beat Texas A&M before losing to the Gators in the quarterfinals, and South Carolina will defeat Alabama before losing to UK in the semifinals.

Related

    5 Coaching Hires That Will Have the Biggest Impacts

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    5 Coaching Hires That Will Have the Biggest Impacts

    NCAA.com
    via NCAA.com

    Ogunbowale Buzzer-Beater Wins ESPY for Play of the Year

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    Ogunbowale Buzzer-Beater Wins ESPY for Play of the Year

    Kyle Newport
    via Bleacher Report

    John Beilein Signs Rollover Contract Extension

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    John Beilein Signs Rollover Contract Extension

    Dylan Burkhardt
    via UM Hoops.com

    NCAA Announces Final Four Sites Through 2026

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    NCAA Announces Final Four Sites Through 2026

    Rob Goldberg
    via Bleacher Report