All the favorites won on Thursday in the SEC men's basketball tournament, and now it's time for those second-round winners to meet the top four teams in the conference for the quarterfinal matchups on Friday.
Here's a look at the latest tournament schedule as well as predictions for each quarterfinal game.
|Wednesday, March 8||7 p.m.||1||First||No. 12 Mississippi State 79, No. 13 LSU 52||SEC Network|
|Wednesday, March 8||25 minutes after Game 1||2||First||No. 14 Missouri 86, No. 11 Auburn (OT)||SEC Network|
|Thursday, March 9||1 p.m.||3||Second||No. 8 Georgia 59, No. 9 Tennessee 57||SEC Network|
|Thursday, March 9||25 minutes after Game 3||4||Second||No. 5 Alabama 75, No. 12 Mississippi State 55||SEC Network|
|Thursday, March 9||7 p.m.||5||Second||No. 7 Vanderbilt 66, No. 10 Texas A&M 41||SEC Network|
|Thursday, March 9||25 minutes after Game 5||6||Second||No. 6 Ole Miss 86, No. 14 Missouri 74||SEC Network|
|Friday, March 10||1 p.m.||7||Quarterfinals||No. 8 Georgia vs. No. 1 Kentucky||SEC Network|
|Friday, March 10||25 minutes after Game 8||8||Quarterfinals||No. 5 Alabama vs. No. 4 South Carolina||SEC Network|
|Friday, March 10||7 p.m.||9||Quarterfinals||No. 7 Vanderbilt vs. No. 2 Florida||SEC Network|
|Friday, March 10||25 minutes after Game 9||10||Quarterfinals||No. 6 Ole Miss vs. No. 3 Arkansas||SEC Network|
|Saturday, March 11||1 p.m.||11||Semifinals||Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner||ESPN|
|Saturday, March 11||25 minutes after Game 11||12||Semifinals||Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner||ESPN|
|Sunday, March 12||1 p.m.||13||Finals||Game 11 winner vs. Game 12 winner||ESPN|
Information via secsports.com. All games will take place at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.
No. 8 Georgia vs. No. 1 Kentucky
The Bulldogs are a better team than their No. 8 ranking in the SEC might suggest. According to the Sagarin ratings, UGA is sitting 53rd right now, which places it in the same neighborhood as Cal, Rhode Island, Illinois State and Providence, talented teams that have been sitting on the NCAA tournament bubble this week.
That being said, this is a bad draw for the Bulldogs, who will be playing a team that DraftExpress predicts will have three players go in the first round of the 2017 NBA draft.
Two of those players, freshman guards De'Aaron Fox and Malik Monk, are serious matchup problems. Fox can do a bit of everything, and Monk is one of the best scorers in the country. The latter scored 37 points against the Bulldogs in a 90-81 overtime victory this season.
That win took place without Fox, who was out with an illness. The problem Georgia had, and other teams will have this March, is that there's another player who can fill the scoring void if Monk or Fox are out or simply off.
Sophomore Isaiah Briscoe stepped up as the No. 2 man that night and nearly posted a triple-double, with 23 points, 11 boards and eight assists. He averages 12.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game.
The three of them, plus freshman big man Bam Adebayo, are going to make a deep tournament run. UGA is no match for UK this year when they are all on the floor.
No. 5 Alabama vs. No. 4 South Carolina
This is a rematch of one of the best men's college hoops games of the year, when Alabama beat South Carolina 90-86 in four overtime despite a Shaquille O'Neal-esque stat line of 44 points and 21 rebounds from Gamecocks senior guard Sindarius Thornwell.
Thornwell, who made an eye-popping 25 of 33 free-throw attempts that night, is one of the best players in the country when he's feeling it. He averages 21.2 points and 7.3 boards a game for the Gamecocks and also gets it done on the defensive end with 2.2 steals per night.
Neither USC nor Alabama are playing well down the stretch. The Gamecocks lost five of their last eight to close the regular season, while Alabama went 4-6 in its last 10 SEC games before beating Mississippi State in the second round of the tournament.
This should be another close game, but give the slightest of edges to the team with the best player on the floor in Thornwell and the Gamecocks.
Pick: South Carolina
No. 7 Vanderbilt vs. No. 2 Florida
Like Alabama vs. South Carolina, this is a rematch of another great SEC matchup this year, as Vanderbilt topped Florida, 73-71 on its Senior Day in Nashville.
Vandy likely played itself into the NCAA tournament with that win plus an emphatic 66-41 second-round victory over future NBA draft pick Robert Williams and the Texas A&M Aggies on Thursday, but it will now face a Florida team looking for revenge after it blew a 12-point lead to the Commodores the last time around.
Although Vandy will be playing in front of many home fans since the game is in its home city, expect UF to come out firing and put the clamps down on the Vanderbilt offense.
According to the Ken Pomeroy College Basketball Rankings, Florida ranked fourth in adjusted defensive efficiency in all of Division I. The Gators also have a great senior leader in Kasey Hill and a balanced scoring attack (eight players average between six and 14 points per game) that should bode well for them in March.
Vanderbilt will keep this close, but Florida will win by a few baskets.
No. 6 Ole Miss vs. No. 3 Arkansas
Like Florida, Arkansas has a deep team. Four players average between 12 and 15 points per game, led by senior guard Dusty Hannahs. Nine players also average at least 11 minutes per game, with seven of them playing 17.8 minutes a night.
The Razorbacks are also one of the better offensive teams in the country. They average 81 points and shoot 46.5 percent from the field, which helped the Hogs earn a No. 17 ranking in adjusted offensive efficiency per Pomeroy.
Ole Miss has a trio of stars led by double-double machine and senior forward Sebastian Saiz, who puts up 15.1 points and 10.9 boards per game.
Despite Saiz' fantastic play down low, Arkansas' depth and offensive prowess will be too much for the Rebels to handle. That was the case when the Hogs beat Ole Miss, 98-80 this season, when junior guard Daryl Macon scored 30 on 10-of-13 shooting.
On any given night, numerous players can go off for the Razorbacks and take over a game as Macon did. That should be an issue for every team Arkansas faces this year.