2014 SEC Tournament Preview and Predictions

3/11/14 in NCAABB   |   BlakeLovell   |   86 respect

Mar 8, 2014; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators guard Scottie Wilbekin (5), forward Casey Prather (24),  center Patric Young (4) and forward Will Yeguete (15) talk with CBS as they celebrate after they beat the Kentucky Wildcats for their complete SEC undefeated season at Stephen C. O'Connell Center. Florida Gators defeated the Kentucky Wildcats 84-65. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsThe 2014 SEC Tournament gets underway on Wednesday night in Atlanta, as 14 teams will battle it out to claim the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.

For some teams (Florida and Kentucky), the work is already done, and an NCAA tournament berth is guaranteed. For others (Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri), a win or two in the tournament would go a long way towards locking down at an at-large berth.

There's no doubt that the Gators are the overwhelming favorite heading into the week. Billy Donovan's squad managed to run the table in the league this season, and have showed no signs of slowing down in recent weeks.

It hasn't been a stellar year for SEC basketball, but you can bet that there will still be plenty of suspense and intrigue when things tip off on Wednesday.

With that in mind, let's preview the games and predict who will come out on top:


#12 Auburn vs. #13 South Carolina - 7 PM ET

This one may not be easy on the eyes as neither team has been able to put much together this season. The Tigers won both season meetings, but with Frank Martin back on the sideline, I see the Gamecocks marching on.

#11 Vanderbilt vs. #14 Mississippi State - 9:30 PM ET

Rarely do you hear the words "Coach of the Year" mentioned in the direction of the coach of the league's 11th place team. However, some believe Kevin Stallings should be in consideration based on the Dores' ability to overcome roster challenges all season long. Vandy moves on here.


#8 Missouri vs. #9 Texas A&M - 1 PM ET

Missouri needs to win a few games in Atlanta to make the NCAA tournament. Of course, in order to do that, they'll first have to beat the Aggies. The Tigers won by a point a week ago, and given everything they have on the line, they'll step up to the challenge and play well in this spot.

#5 Arkansas vs. #13 South Carolina - 3:30 PM ET

The Razorbacks are another team trying to improve their tournament resume, but a win over a bad South Carolina team won't do them a whole lot of good. What they do after this game, though, could make all the difference in the world.

#7 LSU vs. #10 Alabama - 7 PM ET

After a 9-2 start to the season, it feels like LSU should have been better than it was in conference play. The Tigers haven't really had a bad loss since they played this same Alabama team back in January, and they will get their revenge in this one.

#6 Ole Miss vs. #11 Vanderbilt - 9:30 PM ET

I hate to go all chalk into the quarterfinals, but the fact of the matter is that the lower half of the conference just isn't very good this year. The Commodores had Ole Miss beat in Oxford in the season finale and squandered a late lead to give it away. Vandy's lack of depth could cause a similar type of situation to play out in this game. Ole Miss by a bucket.

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