2012 SEC Tournament Preview, Prediction, Bracket, and TV Schedule

After Kentucky posted a perfect conference record and won the SEC by six games, it will be interesting to see if anyone in the league can challenge them when the SEC Tournament begins in New Orleans on Thursday.

With the Wildcats already locked into a one seed, that may be one of the only points of intrigue in the event.

sec-tournament-logo-2012-dates-schedule-tickets-info

SEC Tournament Info

SEC Tournament Preview

The Favorite

Once again, Kentucky reloaded with another talented crop of freshmen, and the Wildcats are a Christian Watford buzzer-beater away from being undefeated.

Anthony Davis has already sewn up National Freshman of the Year, and now he’s taking aim at National Player of the Year.  The talented freshman has averaged 14.4 points, 9.8 rebounds, and a staggering 4.7 blocks while shooting 66.3 percent from the field, and I’m not sure those numbers do justice to Davis’ impact on the game.  Fellow frosh Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is a fierce competitor who will do whatever it takes to win, and four other Wildcats score at least 9.8 points per game.

anthony-davis-michael-kidd-gilchrist-sec-tournament-preview-prediction-bracket-tv-schedule

The Contenders

Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Florida all tied for second in the league at 12-6.  The Vols started the season just 8-8, but thanks in part to the mid-season enrollment of freshman Jarnell Stokes, Cuonzo Martin has his team in the at-large discussion in his first year at the helm.  Tennessee will certainly be an interesting case for the committee, but the best way to erase any doubt is to keep winning in the SEC Tournament.

Related: NCAA Tournament Bubble Watch – Can Cuonzo Martin Lead Tennessee To The Big Dance?

Vanderbilt was miscast as a preseason Top 10 squad, but they do have an explosive offense led by John Jenkins and Jeffery Taylor along with big man Festus Ezeli down low.  The Gators have been a disappointment this season, but they can make a run if their shooters get hot from long range.  Unfortunately, their extreme reliance on the three-point shot has been their undoing in a number of their losses.

In addition to Tennessee, a few other bubble teams will take the floor in New Orleans.

Alabama boasts a fantastic defense, and the Tide are the safest of the SEC’s bubble squads.  The ever-enigmatic Mississippi State has struggled down the stretch and needs to win at least one game in the tournament, while in-state rival Ole Miss probably needs a run to the finals to make their case more compelling.

SEC Tournament Prediction

I simply can’t see anyone but Kentucky winning the SEC Tournament. The Wildcats have the most talented team and are playing as well as anyone in the country, let alone the league.

Aside from UK’s quest for the top overall seed in the tournament, the Tennessee storyline is the one I will be monitoring most closely.

cuonzo-martin-tennessee-bubble-watch-ncaa-tournament

Can first year head coach Cuonzo Martin guide the Tennessee Volunteers to a deep run in the SEC Tournament and ultimately get into The Big Dance? (Photo by University of Tennesee via Wikimedia Commons)

SEC Tournament Bracket

sec-tournament-bracket-tv-schedule-tickets

via SECDigitalNetwork.com

2012 SEC Tournament TV Schedule and Results

Game Date Matchup Time TV
1 Thu, March 8 #8 LSU def #9 Arkansas 70-54 1:00 ET SEC Network
2 Thu, March 8 #5 Alabama def #12 South Carolina 63-57 3:30 ET SEC Network
3 Thu, March 8 #7 Ole Miss def #10 Auburn 68-54 7:30 ET SEC Network
4 Thu, March 8 #11 Georgia def #6 Mississippi State 71-61 10:00 ET SEC Network
         
5 Fri, March 9 #1 Kentucky def #8 LSU 60-51 1:00 ET SEC Network
6 Fri, March 9 #4 Florida def #5 Alabama 66-63 3:30 ET SEC Network
7 Fri, March 9 #7 Ole Miss def #2 Tennessee 77-72 7:30 ET SEC Network
8 Fri, March 9 #3 Vanderbilt def #11 Georgia 63-41 10:00 ET SEC Network
         
9 Sat, March 10 #1 Kentucky def #4 Florida 74-71 1:00 ET ABC
10 Sat, March 10 #3 Vanderbilt def #7 Ole Miss 65-53 3:30 ET ABC
         
11 Sun, March 11 SEC Tournament Championship Game: #1 Kentucky v #3 Vanderbilt 1:00 ET ABC

*****

SEC Mens Basketball Tournament History: Champions and MVPs

Year SEC Tournament Champion Site SEC Tournament MVP
1933 Kentucky Wildcats Atlanta, GA  
1934 Alabama Crimson Tide Atlanta, GA  
  No Tournament    
1936 Tennessee Volunteers Knoxville, TN  
1937 Kentucky Wildcats Knoxville, TN*  
1938 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Baton Rouge, LA  
1939 Kentucky Wildcats Knoxville, TN  
1940 Kentucky Wildcats Knoxville, TN  
1941 Tennessee Volunteers Louisville, KY  
1942 Kentucky Wildcats Louisville, KY  
1943 Tennessee Volunteers Louisville, KY  
1944 Kentucky Wildcats Louisville, KY  
1945 Kentucky Wildcats Louisville, KY  
1946 Kentucky Wildcats Louisville, KY  
1947 Kentucky Wildcats Louisville, KY  
1948 Kentucky Wildcats Louisville, KY  
1949 Kentucky Wildcats Louisville, KY  
1950 Kentucky Wildcats Louisville, KY  
1951 Vanderbilt Commodores Louisville, KY  
1952 Kentucky Wildcats Louisville, KY  
1953-78 No Tournament    
1979 Tennessee Volunteers Birmingham, AL Kyle Macy, Kentucky
1980 LSU Tigers Birmingham, AL DeWayne Scales, LSU
1981 Ole Miss Rebels Birmingham, AL Dominique Wilkins, Georgia
1982 Alabama Crimson Tide Lexington, KY Dirk Minniefield, Kentucky
1983 Georgia Bulldogs Birmingham, AL Vern Fleming, Georgia
1984 Kentucky Wildcats Nashville, TN Charles Barkely, Auburn
1985 Auburn Tigers Birmingham, AL Chuck Person, Auburn
1986 Kentucky Wildcats Lexington, KY John Williams, LSU
1987 Alabama Crimson Tide Atlanta, GA Derrick McKey, Alabama
1988 Kentucky Wildcats* Baton Rouge, LA Rex Chapman, Kentucky
1989 Alabama Crimson Tide Knoxville, TN Livingston Chatman, Florida
1990 Alabama Crimson Tide Orlando, FL Melvin Cheatum, Alabama
1991 Alabama Crimson Tide Nashville, TN Allan Houston, Tennessee
1992 Kentucky Wildcats Birmingham, AL Jamal Mashburn, Kentucky
1993 Kentucky Wildcats Lexington, KY Travis Ford, Kentucky
1994 Kentucky Wildcats Memphis, TN Travis Ford, Kentucky
1995 Kentucky Wildcats Atlanta, GA Antoine Walker, Kentucky
1996 Mississippi State Bulldogs New Orleans, LA Dontae' Jones, Mississippi State
1997 Kentucky Wildcats Memphis, TN Ron Mercer, Kentucky
1998 Kentucky Wildcats Atlanta, GA Wayne Turner, Kentucky
1999 Kentucky Wildcats Atlanta, GA Scott Padgett, Kentucky
2000 Arkansas Razorbacks Atlanta, GA Brandon Dean, Arkansas
2001 Kentucky Wildcats Nashville, TN Tayshaun Price, Kentucky
2002 Mississippi State Bulldogs Atlanta, GA Mario Austin, Mississippi State
2003 Kentucky Wildcats New Orleans, LA Keith Bogans, Kentucky
2004 Kentucky Wildcats Atlanta, GA Gerald Fitch, Kentucky
2005 Florida Gators Atlanta, GA Matt Walsh, Florida
2006 Florida Gators Nashville, TN Taurean Green, Florida
2007 Florida Gators Atlanta, GA Al Horford, Florida
2008 Georgia Bulldogs Atlanta, GA Sundiata Gaines, Georgia
2009 Mississippi State Bulldogs St. Pete, FL Jarvis Varnado, Mississippi State
2010 Kentucky Wildcats Nashville, TN John Wall, Kentucky
2011 Kentucky Wildcast Atlanta, GA Darius Miller, Kentucky
2012      
  * - Later vacated after Eddie Sutton scandal   Note: The MVP award was not awarded until 1979

*****



About Andy Bottoms

While Andy was born and raised in Indiana, he would like to point out that he grew up shooting hoops in his driveway and not against the side of a barn like you see in all the March Madness promos or in the middle of a field like Jimmy Chitwood. Andy ranks among the top bracketologists according to the Bracket Matrix and has provided his projections to Fox Sports for the past three seasons. When not compiling excuses for missing work during the NCAA Tournament, Andy enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters. He is a proud IU graduate and co-hosts The Assembly Call postgame show following every IU game. Twitter: @AndyBottoms

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