If you’ve ever read APIAS.net then you probably figured out that we have an affinity for sports in the South. And, it just so happens that our collective favorite basketball teams both play in the SEC. What better reason than to write a full-on SEC Tournament preview. We’ll give a quick rundown of the Quarterfinal matchups, and then the teams the winners will face. Hopefully, at the end, one of us will be so moved to conclude it all and we’ll give you who we think will win.
South Carolina and LSU are looking at a game where it could be the last game for their respective coaches at their school. Dave Odom has already announced his retirement from the Gamecocks, and I’m sure we’ll all soon be hearing his whiny voice on the SEC network calling games with Dave Baker. Butch Pierre is the interim coach at LSU and his future is unsettled. Pierre will probably need a deep run in the Tourney to be considered for the job full-time, even if LSU has played relatively well since he took over. Vol fans are definitely rooting for SC in this one. They just beat the ‘Cocks by 30 in their regular season finale, but struggled to a two-point win against LSU. Luckily for the UT faithful, Carolina has the best player in the game, so I give them the nod.
Tennessee got the prime spot in the tournament by winning the SEC East. They get more rest between games than any other team, as opposed to UK who (if they win) will have to play a 9:45pm game and then turn around and play sixteen hours later. Tennessee should coast through their first-round game, regardless of the opponent. Their depth is way too much for SC, and they’ll have a lot of motivation should they play the Bayou Bengals. The main thing for the Vols in the quarterfinals will be keeping their legs fresh. Their style of play isn’t conducive to three games in three days. SEC Co-coach of the year, Bruce Pearl is going to have to have to be creative and go deep into his bench if he plans on a deep tournament run. TGC and I may disagree on this one, but UT needs to win this first game to lock up a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Up next: Vanderbilt/Auburn vs. Arkansas