The SEC did not dominate the basketball landscape the way the conference regularly does on the football field. However, following a slew of early-round games, a number of teams still control their own destiny in terms of earning an at-large invite, or automatic berth, into the NCAA Tournament.
The outright SEC regular-season champion, Florida, takes on an up-and-coming LSU squad that will be playing with nothing to lose after handling Georgia and the conference’s 2013 Player of the Year, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. The Gators will be playing for a potential No. 2 seed with an outside shot at grabbing a No. 1 seed, so coach Billy Donovan’s team will be looking to dominate in Nashville.
The eyes of bubble teams across the country will be on the Tennessee-Alabama tilt, starting at 3 p.m. E.T. Both programs boast solid wins — Tennessee has beaten both Kentucky and Florida this year — but both have also stumbled at times this season. The winner will most likely have punched its ticket to the Dance, while the loser will wait on Selection Sunday with no better than a 50/50 chance at an invite.
Vanderbilt, last year’s tourney champs, disappointed for most of the season. However, Vandy finally put it together with a solid effort to beat Arkansas in the first round. The Dores will not earn an NCAA berth unless they win the entire conference tournament for the second straight year, but with a vulnerable Kentucky squad coming up in prime time, at least one more win is not out of the question.
h/t: SB Nation