SEC Tournament 2021: Bracket Seeds, Odds, Matchups and Predictions

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IMarch 9, 2021

SEC Tournament 2021: Bracket Seeds, Odds, Matchups and Predictions

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    Michael Woods/Associated Press

    What a difference a year made in the SEC. In 2020, Kentucky and Auburn were the top two seeds for the conference tournament, which ended up not getting completed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    This year, though, the Wildcats have struggled, while the Tigers won't even be playing in the tourney due to a self-imposed postseason ban.

    Instead, Alabama and Arkansas are the top two seeds for the SEC tournament, which is set to begin Wednesday night at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Last year, the Crimson Tide were the No. 9 seed and the Razorbacks were at No. 11, so both have had impressive one-year turnarounds.

    Kentucky, which has won the SEC tourney 31 times (25 more than any other school), is the No. 8 seed after going 8-9 in conference play during the regular season. It's the first time the Wildcats had a sub-.500 conference record since the 1988-89 campaign.

    Can Kentucky turn things around in tournament play? Will Alabama and Arkansas keep their regular-season momentum going? Or could another team rise up and challenge for the tourney title?

    Here's everything you need to know heading into this year's SEC tournament.

SEC Tournament Bracket, Schedule

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    Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

    Wednesday, March 10

    Game 1: No. 12 Vanderbilt vs. No. 13 Texas A&M, 7 p.m. ET, SEC Network


    Thursday, March 11

    Game 2: No. 8 Kentucky vs. No. 9 Mississippi State, noon ET, SEC Network

    Game 3: No. 5 Florida vs. Winner of Game 1, 2 p.m. ET, SEC Network

    Game 4: No. 7 Missouri vs. No. 10 Georgia, 7 p.m. ET, SEC Network

    Game 5: No. 6 Ole Miss vs. No. 11 South Carolina, 9 p.m. ET, SEC Network


    Friday, March 12

    Game 6: No. 1 Alabama vs. Winner of Game 2, noon ET, ESPN

    Game 7: No. 4 Tennessee vs. Winner of Game 3, 2 p.m. ET, ESPN

    Game 8: No. 2 Arkansas vs. Winner of Game 4, 7 p.m. ET, SEC Network

    Game 9: No. 3 LSU vs. Winner of Game 5, 9 p.m. ET, SEC Network


    Saturday, March 13

    Game 10: Winner of Game 6 vs. Winner of Game 7, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN

    Game 11: Winner of Game 8 vs. Winner of Game 9, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN


    Sunday, March 14

    Game 12: Winner of Game 10 vs. Winner of Game 11, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN

Odds to Win SEC Tournament Championship

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    Michael Woods/Associated Press

    Alabama: +220 (bet $100 to win $220)

    Arkansas: +320

    LSU: +500

    Tennessee: +525

    Florida: +575

    Missouri: +600

    Kentucky: +3000

    Ole Miss: +4000

    Mississippi State: +6000

    Georgia: +20000

    South Carolina: +20000

    Texas A&M: +40000

    Vanderbilt: +50000

    Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

SEC Tournament Predictions

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    Michael Woods/Associated Press

    Alabama and Arkansas have been the two best teams in the SEC this season. And now that the conference tournament is imminent, don't expect that to change.

    The No. 1-seeded Crimson Tide and No. 2-seeded Razorbacks appear to be heading toward a third meeting this season in the championship game of the SEC tourney. The two teams split their regular-season meetings, and it will likely be a competitive contest if they match up again.

    That wasn't the case in the first game, as the Crimson Tide rolled to a 90-59 win over the Razorbacks at home on Jan. 16. Alabama built a 23-point halftime lead and cruised the rest of the way, with the win coming amid a 10-game winning streak that established it as a top-tier team.

    Arkansas later got its revenge on Feb. 24. The Razorbacks pulled away late for an 81-66 home win, handing the Crimson Tide the second of their two conference losses this season.

    That was Alabama's only loss over its past seven games, while Arkansas ended the regular season on an eight-game winning run. So both teams have momentum as each look to end an SEC tournament title drought. The Crimson Tide last won the tourney in 1991, while the Razorbacks' only SEC tournament championship came in 2000.

    Although Alabama and Arkansas are the favorites, Crimson Tide head coach Nate Oats knows not to overlook any team come tournament time.

    "Some of the teams that don't have the best records have a ton of talent and are now starting to come together," he said, per's Mike Rodak. "You're seeing maybe what they hoped they could be. Well, that's a dangerous team."

    Among the teams to keep an eye on this week are LSU and Tennessee, the Nos. 3 and 4 seeds, as well as Ole Miss. The Rebels are the No. 6 seed, but they've won seven of their past nine games and are playing some of their best basketball of the year.

    While these teams could give Alabama and/or Arkansas some competitive matchups, don't expect the Crimson Tide or Razorbacks to get tripped up by any of them, as they'll both reach the SEC tournament championship game.

    Once there, it will be Alabama that prevails and wins its first SEC title in 30 years. The Crimson Tide shot 35.5 percent from three-point range during the regular season (tied for the best in the conference), and it will be their long-range shooting that helps them take down the Razorbacks.

    Prediction: Alabama tops Arkansas in championship game.


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