The action gets started on March 7th in St. Louis.
The 2018 SEC Basketball Tournament gets underway on Wednesday, March 7th from Scottrade Center in St. Louis. For four out of the last five years, the tournament was held in Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, but St. Louis won this year’s bid back in 2013. The championship game of the tournament will be played on Sunday, March 11 at 1:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.
One Cinderella remains as the tournament has been whittled down to eight teams. Missouri was supposed to put the rest of the league on blast after getting star freshman Michael Porter Jr. back from injury ahead of schedule, but his first game back was an upset loss to Georgia. The 12th-seeded Bulldogs have now won two straight games to kick off their tournament, and now they’ll have to face another fresh team — the fourth-seeded Kentucky Wildcats.
Another win would put Georgia in position to play the winner of the conference’s biggest rivalry. Alabama boosted its bubble hopes behind Collin Sexton’s last second dash-and-roll, setting up a Friday showdown with in-state rival Auburn. The Tigers won the SEC’s regular season title, but were slighted in the all-conference voting — a wrong they can right by running away with the league tournament title.
The other side of the bracket will feature traditional powers Florida and Tennessee attempting to hold serve against Arkansas and Mississippi State, respectively. For the Gators and Volunteers, the tournament is a way to improve their NCAA Tournament seeding. For the Razorbacks and Bulldogs, winning the league’s automatic bid will likely be the only way they go dancing in 2018.
With the usual conference favorite Kentucky Wildcats having an uncharacteristically down season than usual, the tournament could likely be won by the No. 1 overall seed Auburn, who defeated South Carolina on its final game of the regular season, or the No. 2 seed Tennessee, the top-two teams in the conference standings. Behind them is Florida at No. 3, which defeated No. 4-seeded Kentucky on Saturday, 80-67. Don’t count out the Wildcats, though — they’ve won the tournament for the last three seasons. Behind Kentucky is No. 5 Missouri, No. 6 Arkansas, No. 7 Mississippi State, No. 8 Texas A&M, and No. 9 Alabama.
Teams will be seeded No. 1 through No. 14 in the SEC Basketball Tournament bracket based upon the final regular season conference standings. Teams that finished No. 1 through No. 4 in the final regular season standings shall receive first and second-round byes and teams that finish No. 5 through No. 10 will receive first-round byes.
The Bracket & Schedule
Here is the full tournament bracket and day-by-day schedule. Game times subject to change. We’ll be updating it with results along the way.
Round 1: Wednesday, March 7
Game 1: No. 12 Georgia 78, No. 13 Vanderbilt 62
Game 2: No. 11 South Carolina 85, No. 14 Ole Miss, 84
Round 2: Thursday, March 8
Game 3: No. 9 Alabama 71, No. 8 Texas A&M 70
Game 4: No. 12 Georgia 62, No. 5 Missouri 60
Game 5: No. 7 Mississippi State 80, No. 10 LSU 77
Game 6: No. 6 Arkansas 69, No. 11 South Carolina 64
Quarterfinals: Friday, March 9
Game 7: No. 1 Auburn vs. No. 9 Alabama, 1 pm ET, ESPN
Game 8: No. 4 Kentucky vs. No. 12 Georgia, 25 minutes after Game 7, ESPN
Game 9: No. 2 Tennessee vs. No. 7 Mississippi State, 7 p.m., SEC Network
Game 10: No. 3 Florida vs. No. 6 Arkansas, 25 minutes after Game 9, SEC Network
Semifinals: Saturday March 10
Game 11: Game 7 Winner vs. Game 8 winner, 1 p.m., ESPN
Game 12: Game 9 Winner vs. Game 10 winner, after Game 11, ESPN
Championship: Sunday, March 11
Game 11 Winner vs. Game 12 winner, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN
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