OK, after listening to some of the coaches speak and checking out some practices, I’m ready to make my pick for the SEC Tournament.
And it’s not Kentucky.
I’m not taking the time-honored tradition of picking someone other than the favorite to stir things up. There are reasons why Kentucky will be the pick of most of the members of the media. The Wildcats will have the most fans, most talent and most tradition.
But they also will have the least motivation. When John Calipari says that winning the tourney isn’t important, that it’s only about getting a No. 1 seed, it makes me wonder if that sentiment won’t leak over to the players.
We’ll see, but here are my picks, game by game:
Game 1: Alabama over South Carolina. Tide seems to finally be getting what Anthony Grant has been preaching and JaMychal Green is back.
Game 2: Tennessee over LSU. This will be a seal-clubbing despite better play by Tigers late in the season. “There’s only one team in the league that’s not very good,” said Trent Johnson, “and you happen to be talking to him.”
Game 3: Florida over Auburn. Knock on wood Gator fans.
Game 4: Georgia over Arkansas. But watch out for Rotnei Clarke.
Game 5: Kentucky over Alabama. Big Blue fans hit the sauce early.
Game 6: Tennessee over Ole Miss. Say hello to my little friend — the NIT.
Game 7: Mississippi State over Florida. Vernon Macklin won’t dominate Jarvis Varnado again.
Game 8: Vanderbilt over Georgia. Vandy has too much talent to be one and done.
Game 9: Tennessee over Kentucky. The Vols’ win at Mississippi State was no fluke.
Game 10: Vanderbilt over Mississippi State: An all-Tennessee final.
Game 11: Tennessee over Vandy. Bruce Pearl finally gets tourney monkey off his back.