SEC Tourament trends


I’m a numbers guy so I decided to put a formula together to help quantify just how good or
bad teams have been in the SEC Tournament over the last five years and
the last 10.

You know, to help you fill out your SEC Tournament bracket.

OK, so I’m the only one crazy enough about the tournament to copy a bunch of 12-team brackets and pass them out in the media room in Atlanta. But I still think it’s interesting to look at which teams show up for the tournament and which do not.

So here’s what I did. You get a point for every first-round win, but if you receive a bye because of your outstanding record, that counts for a point as well. You get a total of three points for advancing to the semifinals, four for a semifinal win and five for winning the championship. Don’t confuse yourself by trying to figure this out, just play along with me.

Here’s what you’ll discover.

The obvious ” Florida has been the best team in the last five years, Kentucky in the last 10.

The not-so-obvious: Vanderbilt and Tennessee have had some good teams over the last 10 years, but have smelled it up in the tournament. Nobody is as bad as Georgia, whose best team was ineligible because of the Jim Harrick scandal.

Anyway, here’s how it looks:

Last five years
1. Florida 43
2. Kentucky 35
3. Mississippi State 11
4. South Carolina 10
LSU 10
6. Arkansas 8
7. Vanderbilt 5
Mississippi 5
9. Alabama 4
Auburn 4
11. Georgia 2
12. Tennessee 1

Last 10 years
1. Kentucky 71
2. Florida 50
3. Arkansas 33
4. South Carolina 24
5. LSU 17
6. Mississippi 16
7. Mississippi State 15
8. Auburn 14
Alabama 14
10. Vanderbilt 6
11. Tennessee 4
12. Georgia 3

You know, you have to stop and think about it (or have an SEC media guide handy) to realize just how bad Tennessee has been in the tournament. The Vols, with players such as Vincent Yarbrough, Chris Lofton, C.J. Watson, Ron Slay, Tony Harris, Isiah Victor and Marcus Haislip have managed a 4-10 record over the last 10 years. Bruce Pearl has won 73 games as the Tennessee coach, but none have come in the SEC Tournament.

Remember, however, that it took Billy Donovan a while to figure it out. His record prior to 2004’s event was a pedestrian 5-7. In the last four tournaments, it’s a gaudy 11-1.

Of course, it has been since 2002 that the Gators have had to play on the first day, as they will this year. Florida under Donovan in years it has had to play on Thursday? Other than his first miserable team in ’97, his other four that played first-round games have all won one and lost one.