Well, SEC fans, this is it, your last chance to show something and make something of this season. It’s tournament time! Ah the tournament where anything can happen and sometimes on occasion does. Will it for your favorite team?
If you didn't see the SEC Tournament Bingo before, now's your chance to get involved. Play along, have fun, and click the image for a larger version. There will be fun prizes*.
*prizes do not actually exist
We'll also have a Part 2 coming shortly with some thoughts from David Wunderlich of TeamSpeedKills, and Sam's usual breakdown of some keys to Mizzou having success tonight. But until then, let's get to the previewin!
In this space I’m going to look at all the teams, in alphabetical order, because honestly, Kentucky has a had a lot of time at the top of our lists this season and that's gonna stop right now. So what should we expect from all 14 teams in the SEC once they get to Nashville? Let’s take a look!
Presenting the SEC Basketball Tournament
location: Nashville, Tennessee
Alabama #9 Seed
Nickname – Crimson Tide Mascot – Giant elephant that relates in no way to their nickname.
First Game: Florida (Thursday)
What should we expect from them in the SEC: The players are fighting for Anthony Grant! The fans are hoping that Anthony Grants! The predominant group of the fanbase have moved onto football and wondering how Nick Saban is going to murder Urban Meyer in his sleep.
Expected SEC Tourney Outcome: Beat Florida, lose to Florida, they’re gonna get beat by Kentucky in round 2.
Arkansas #2 Seed
Nickname – Razorbacks Mascot – They’ve got hundreds of mascots of differing genders, size and material. They say there’s no such thing as too much of a good thing, well not in this case.
First Game: vs the Tennessee/Vanderbilt Winner (Friday)
What should we expect from them in the SEC: They’re the 2 seed for a reason had a strong season, looked good, so we can only expect that Mike Anderson has already put his name in at any number of schools to in the words of Yogurt, "Search for more money."
Expected SEC Tourney Outcome: I know they’re the 2 seed, but for some reason I see Vandy pulling the upset in their quarter final game and everyone either a) freaks out! or b) says losing is good because they get rest and seeding schmeeding.
Auburn #13 Seed
Nickname – Tigers Mascot- A plush Tiger named Aubie because well sometimes coming up with a mascot name can be tough…
First Game: vs Mississippi State (Wednesday)
What should we expect from them in the SEC: Auburn and Mississippi State will participate in one of the uglier games of the season, don’t watch this game unless you someone is making you, or it’s either watch the game or go to jail, for more than a weekend.
Expected SEC Tourney Outcome: Does it really matter? As the tagline for Alien vs Predator went, "Whoever wins, we lose." I think Auburn will come out inspired and beat Rick Ray’s Bulldogs and will then get run off the floor by Texas A&M who needs every win they can get at this point. It’s going to be ugly.
Florida #8 Seed
Nickname – Alligators Mascot- A lady gator and a man gator that both have silly hats and we won’t see the lady one at the game because Florida takes their mascot gender rules quite seriously.
First Game: vs Alabama
What should we expect from them in the SEC: Many of us have thought that Florida was just long conning us this entire season to fall into the SEC tournament looking wounded and then beat everybody just for the sick pleasure of Billy Donovan.
Expected SEC Tourney Outcome: As much fun as it would be that this whole season was a long con a la Sawyer from Lost, it’s not. Florida is flawed and plays hideous defense. The question is will Billy Donovan lay down so his pupil Anthony Grant can get a win and help his job status? NOPE! Florida wins and then gets beat by Kentucky on Friday.
Georgia #3 Seed
Nickname – Bulldogs Mascot- An actual bulldog named Uga (because UGA, get it?) and a plush steroid infused human in mascot form named Hairy Dawg because, I guess spelling is hard…
First Game: vs the Ole Miss-South Carolina-Mizzou game winner
What should we expect from them in the SEC: Honestly, I’m betting the Bulldogs will be hitting up a CVS to get as much over the counter meds they can to make sure no one gets sick, attaching GPS devices to each individual and wrapping their players in bubble wrap they got at the UPS store because if anyone…ANYONE gets sick, lost or hurt, they’re going to have a tough, TOUGH time.
Expected SEC Tourney Outcome: Georgia’s in a tough spot. They seem to be a "lock" for the NCAA tournament, but they’re going to have to take on an Ole Miss team in their first game that NEEDS a win. Ole Miss fans can say they’re in and the Palms and Brennans can agree, but that don’t make it so. Expect a close second first game that UGA wins and Mark Fox faints when no one gets hurt. Georgia then beats Vandy in the Semi Finals and make it to the Finals where they lose in a close one to Kentucky. Mark Fox faints again.
Kentucky #1 Seed
Nickname – Wildcat Mascot- A wildcat that has a serious case of "dresses in the dark"…and Ashley Judd who may or may not be acting anymore.
First Game: vs the Florida-Alabama game winner
What should we expect from them in the SEC: Everyone’s going to want to watch Kentucky and see if they can remain perfect and undefeated. Barring a bout of food sickness or alien abduction, I think we can safely assume they’ll play well…but never count out Aliens.
Expected SEC Tourney Outcome: I see no reason to pick against Kentucky, they are infuriating in their consistency and the fact that they keep on winning. I expect they beat Florida, then have a close game with LSU and then another close game with Georgia in the finals before they are crowned SEC champion and the boring narrative continues.
LSU #4 Seed
Nickname – Tigers Mascot- A real Tiger named Mike from Indiana who doesn’t travel (not very SEC if you ask me) and a plush mascot who looks completely rabid
First Game: vs the Texas A&M-Mississippi State-Auburn game winner
What should we expect from them in the SEC: No idea. NO. IDEA. Has anyone been able to figure out what LSU was going to do from game to game? NOPE! Johnny Jones is either in over his head, a savant or an accidental tourist. Someone just make sure they’re all wearing the same jerseys.
Expected SEC Tourney Outcome: Because it’s a tournament I think LSU has their act together and tries and is focused. They win their first game in the quarterfinals against a hungry hungry A&M team. But then they have to face Kentucky in the semi finals and they just don’t have enough but are close late.
Mississippi State #12 Seed
Nickname – Bulldogs Mascot- A real dog named Bully, and then a human in plush also named Bully, because why mess with a good thing?
First Game: vs Auburn
What should we expect from them in the SEC: Ugly ugly basketball! Ricky Ray though will be dressed spectacularly, seemingly ensconced in velvet. The rest though…not good.
Expected SEC Tourney Outcome: I’m thinking Rick Ray’s guys are gonna get beat by an Auburn squad closer to full strength and playing for their teammate. So it’ll be a short stay for the Bulldogs but at least they can clanga, clanga, clanga their way home to Starkville and watch baseball.
Mizzou #14 Seed
Nickname – Tigers Mascot- A plush yellow/gold mascot named Truman (because Harry Truman was from Missouri, I know, it's GENIUS!) that looks constantly surprised or in a constant state of showing his "O" face.
First Game: vs South Carolina
What should we expect from them in the SEC: Much like Mississippi State, Kim Anderson’s guys will fight but I wouldn’t expect much of anything. The game against South Carolina could set back the game of basketball many, MANY years.
Expected SEC Tourney Outcome: The Tigers are going to have a short stay in Nashville, probably getting beat by the murderballers of South Carolina. They’ll head home to Columbia (west, the good one) and then I think I speak for everyone when I say, "GET IN THE WEIGHT ROOM, EAT EVERYTHING YOU CAN, RINSE AND REPEAT!!!!"
Ole Miss #6 Seed
Nickname – Rebels Mascot- A black bear named "Rebel Black Bear", SO CREATIVE! They should have been called the Ackbars…you had your shot and you BLEW IT!
First Game: vs Mizzou-South Carolina game winner
What should we expect from them in the SEC: Their backs are up against the wall and they need some wins, I don’t care what the Ole Miss fans think, or the experts think, I’M NOT CONFIDENT, but what do I know? Also, Andy Kennedy will flap his arms much like a baby bird trying to take flight.
Expected SEC Tourney Outcome: First game, Ole Miss will take, they’ll beat the South Carolina-Mizzou winner because they need to. Second game will be against Georgia, and this is where things get tough. I know Ole Miss needs this and probably more so than Georgia, but I think they lose this second game and then are seen on CBS sweating a little bit about their tournament future. Greg Gumbel will chortle and someone’s gonna be heartbroken.
South Carolina #11 Seed
Nickname – Gamecocks Mascot- A real angry rooster named Big Spur (looks nothing like David Robinson) and a plush mascot named Cocky (12 year old me is laughing) with a weight issue.
First Game: vs Mizzou
What should we expect from them in the SEC: I’ll be honest, not much. Beating Mizzou in game one doesn’t really tell you anything. So what I’m betting we see is a lot of bodying up of teams they play and RAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGEEEEEEEEEEEE from Frank Martin…so much rage.
Expected SEC Tourney Outcome: First game they should beat a depleted Mizzou squad in a closer game than we may expect, but then things get interesting in game 2. South Carolina is facing off against a somewhat desperate Ole Miss squad that needs all the wins it can get. South Carolina goes down fighting and sandstorms their way back to Columbia (east, the other one) to enjoy the Ol’ Ball Coach’s twitter activity.
Tennessee #10 Seed
Nickname – Volunteers Mascot- A real dog, named Smokey and a Davey Crockett look alike that carries a gun, just in case someone doesn’t third down for what hard enough I presume.
First Game: vs Vanderbilt
What should we expect from them in the SEC: Tennessee was a tale of two different teams this year, the one that played well and the one that didn’t. The one who didn’t felt more real, if you know what I mean. So I would expect not all that much to be honest with you. Also, expect orange, A LOT OF ORANGE.
Expected SEC Tourney Outcome: The Vols are running right into the hottest team in the SEC right now (excluding Kentucky) in Vanderbilt who essentially can’t miss their shots and in the words of NBA Jam are on fire. Frankly the Vols are going down and will lose state wide bragging rights with the home team. In that offseason Vol fans can worry about stars.
Texas A&M #5 Seed
Nickname – Aggies Mascot- A collie that looks like Lassie and has a rank higher than every cadet on campus. SALUTE THE DOG AGGIES!!!
First Game: vs Mississippi State- Auburn game winner.
What should we expect from them in the SEC: A&M is gonna be like a kid whose all hopped up on Red Bull and Adderall going full bananas the entire time they’re in Nashville. A&M needs wins and wins and wins if they want to get back into the Tourney conversation. FRENETIC!
Expected SEC Tourney Outcome: With the pressure on A&M to atone for the past two weeks of conference play and to find at least one quality win, A&M should be on their game, BUT their scorer Danuel House isn’t playing. The man’s foot hurts! With that said, I think you can anticipate A&M winning their first game but the lose to LSU and the bubble bursts. A&M-NIT, sorry Aggs.
Vanderbilt #7 Seed
Nickname – Commodores Mascot- A blind boat captain that leads a navy that doesn’t have any water to launch from; and you’re supposed to be the smart ones Vandy.
First Game: vs Tennessee
What should we expect from them in the SEC: Vandy is coming hot ghost rider and requesting a flyby. The way Vandy is shooting the ball one would expect them to blow up all over Nashville. And they’re at home, comfortable, no time change, the only drawback (for them) is that their games will be on, you know, a regulation court and not the disaster they have on campus.
Expected SEC Tourney Outcome: I have very high expectations for Vandy, I’m buying into the ‘Dores! I expect they’ll take out the Vols without too much problem and then in the big upset of the tournament they take down Hogs of Arkansas. Yup, down goes #2. They then would face Georgia and I’m betting at this point fatigue comes into play and with tired legs come missed shots, so Georgia wins and Vandy preps to be next year’s version of Georgia in the SEC.
And there's your preview! Don't you feel more informed and ready to discuss SEC Basketball with your friends and loved ones? Sure you do. Now sit back and let the SEC wash over you like the typhoon of weird that it is.
Coming soon... Part 2. Where Sam will talk about basketball.