SEC Tournament 2012
By E.P. Bignon
The Kentucky Wildcats pretty much slept-walked through the SEC regular season, going 16-0 and defeating their conference foes by an average of 23 points. The SEC tournament might not be as easy but Kentucky is still hands down the favorite.
Led by Player of the Year candidate Anthony Davis the Wildcats are poised to not only win the SEC tournament but should be the favorite to win the whole enchilada. Davis along with Terrance Jones pretty much control the paint, period. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has been a beast the 2nd half of the season. Doron Lamb and Darius Miller can fill it up from long range and Marquis Teague is living up to the pre-season hype as one of the best point guards in the nation. If there is a weakness its depth, they only go 7 deep but barring any foul trouble it shouldn’t be an issue.
Florida, Vanderbilt and Tennessee all finished with a 10-6 conference record. Of these three Tennessee has been playing the best of late winning 8 of 9 and may need to win one or two more to punch their ticket. Florida stumbles in losing three in a row and five of their last eight. The Gators love to shoot the three and if they get hot at the right time they can hang with the Wildcats. Vandy is led by John Jenkins and senior Jeff Taylor, they were a pre-season top 10 team that got off to a slow start but has since righted the ship and can be a dangerous tournament team.
Alabama and Mississippi St are head scratchers. Both have been up and down this season, the Tide have won 4 of 5 but an opening round loss to South Carolina would be devastating to their tournament chances. Miss St has lost five of seven and desperately needs a few wins in the SEC tournament to secure their spot in the NCAA tournament.
The bottom half of the conference, well isn’t very good. Ole Miss is probably the best of the rest but would need a small miracle to play their way into the NCAA tournament.
Winner: The SEC tournament will conclude on Sunday in New Orleans and most likely the Kentucky Wildcats will claim another SEC title. If there is a team that could knock off the Wildcats it would be Vandy. Coincidentally the Final Four this year is in New Orleans as well, Mardi Gras would play 2nd fiddle to Big Blue Nation if the Cats were to make it back to Bourbon Street for the Final Four.