Friday, March 9th, 2012

SEC Conference Tournament preview and predictions

Published on March 7, 2012 by Scott Shirley   ·   No Comments

The Kentucky Wildcats are a step above every other team in college basketball. So will anyone challenge them in the SEC tournament? Find out below as I will predict every game of the SEC conference tournament.

Top 5 players

1. Anthony Davis, Kentucky (Fr.) – A couple years ago in high school Davis was a guard, now he has grown into a dominant power forward. Davis leads the SEC in blocks (4.7) and is second in rebounds (9.8). Davis is averaging 14.4 points per game. He is the best freshman in the country and probably the best player in the country.

2. John Jenkins, Vanderbilt (Jr.) – Jenkins led the SEC in scoring last season, and he is doing the same this season with 20 points per game. Jenkins is deadly from three for the season; he is making 3.9 threes per game, while shooting 46 % from three.

3. Arnett Moultrie, Mississippi State (Jr.) – Moultrie is probably the best transfer, who no one is talking about. For the season he is averaging a double double 16.1 points and 10.7 rebounds. He leads the SEC in rebounding.

4. Kenny Boynton, Florida (Jr.) – Boynton is third in the SEC in scoring with 16.8 points per game. He is also making 3.3 threes per game while shooting 43% from three. Also he is averaging 2.5 assists on the season.

5.Michael Kidd Gilchrist, Kentucky (Fr.) – Gilchrist can do it all. For the season he is averaging 11.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.1 blocks. He is also a capable three point shooter.

NCAA Tournament

Locks: Kentucky, Florida, Vanderbilt, Alabama

On the bubble: Mississippi State, Tennessee, Ole Miss

1st Round

LSU/ Arkansas- Both teams struggled down the stretch. LSU lost 3 in a row and Arkansas lost 5 out of their last 6. I am picking Arkansas to win this game the reason is that they will have the best player on the court in freshman BJ Young.

Alabama/ South Carolina – The Gamecocks come into this game really struggling since they have lost 10 out of their last 11. Alabama comes into this game hot, winning 4 out of their last 5. One of South Carolina’s two SEC wins is Alabama but I see Alabama getting revenge here. South Carolina won’t have an answer for JaMychal Green inside.

Ole Miss/ Auburn – The Rebels have very slight NCAA tournament hopes alive. They will have to make it to the championship game of this tournament to even be considered. Ole Miss comes in hot winning 3 in a row. Terrance Henry and Murphy Holloway will dominate and lead Ole Miss to an easy victory.

Mississippi State/ Georgia –Mississippi State is likely in the tournament thanks to winning their last two games, but a lost here to Georgia could be costly. Georgia actually won the head to head meeting between the two teams in the regular season, but I don’t see that happening again. I just think Mississippi State has too much talent not to win. When they play like a team they can be very hard to beat. Dee Bost is one of the best point guards in the nation and Arnett Moultrie is one of the best big guys.


Arkansas/ Kentucky – In my mind there is Kentucky then there is everyone else in college basketball. They are that dominant. They could be undefeated for the season but they lost on a last second shot at Indiana. During the season Kentucky beat Arkansas by 20 some, and I see the same thing happening here. In the game Anthony Davis had 27 points, 14 rebounds and 7 blocks. Look for him to have another monster game.

Alabama/ Florida –Florida beat Alabama in their only match up this season but this is when Alabama suspended some of their players. That included their best player JaMychal Green. However, with Green back in the lineup I still see Florida winning this game. Why? I really like the Gators ability to shoot the three. They always have 4 players on the court that can shoot the three. Kenny Boynton will have a big day.

Ole Miss/ Tennessee –Believe it or not Tennessee finished second in the SEC. Right now they are fighting for their tournament lives. In my mind they at least need to make the SEC tournament final to receive a bid to the big dance. If they would have been better in the non- conference schedule they would have been a lock for the tournament. As for the game I like Tennessee to win look for Jeronne Maymon to have a big game. In the regular season meeting Maymon had 18 points against the Rebels.

Mississippi State/ Vanderbilt – This is a game that will feature two underachieving teams. In my mind next to Kentucky these two teams have the most talent in the SEC. For whatever reason though, these this teams can’t play with any consistency. Mississippi State won the regular season match up, but I like Vanderbilt to win here. It’s now or never for the Vanderbilt seniors, look for John Jenkins and Jeffery Taylor to have huge games.


Kentucky/ Florida –These two teams just met in the last game of the season with Kentucky winning by 15 at Florida. As I explained above Florida likes to shoot the three, problem is they really lack depth and toughness inside. When you are playing Kentucky that is not a good thing. Look for Kentucky to dominate the glass and for Anthony Davis and Terrence Jones to have huge games as Kentucky will get the easy victory.

Tennessee/ Vanderbilt- Just like Kentucky and Florida these two teams just played the last game of the regular season. Tennessee beat Vandy by 8. I like the same outcome her Tennessee to win. I just think Tennessee has too much to play for not to win. While Vanderbilt has two star players the Vols have 4 players that can score a lot of points in one night. I think the difference will be the Vols winning in the paint with Jeronne Maymon and Jarnell Stokes.


Kentucky/ Tennessee – The Vols run ends here as Kentucky wins another SEC conference title. The loss will put the Vols right on the bubble, and it will really come down to what the other bubble teams do. The Vols gave the Wildcats their closest SEC game during the regular season. This will be a close game but Kentucky will pull away late. Look for Doron Lamb to hit a big three late. The Vols have no answer for Anthony Davis who scored 18 points in both meetings between the two. Now, can the Wildcats go out and get John Calipari’s first NCAA championship?

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