I’ve been looking forward to the Southeastern Conference Tournament coming to Tampa for a long time. Our media hotel is right next to the St. Pete Times Forum and Channelside Entertainment District, which is a perfect location to let out a little late-night deadline steam.
For those selfish reasons, there’s a part of me that would like to see Florida make a deep run in the SEC Tourney. And I think the bracket and the matchups set up pretty well for the Gators. Because of that, and because the Gators should enjoy a semi-home court advantage, I’m picking Florida to reach the SEC tournament finals before running out of steam against eventual champion LSU.
Here’s how I see the tournament unfolding:
Kentucky over Ole Miss – Billy Gillispie won’t have Jeannine Edwards around to distract him.
Mississippi State over Georgia – No miracle for the ‘Dogs this time around.
Alabama over Vanderbilt – Best game of the day, decided on a game-winning shot from Alabama senior guard Alonzo Gee.
Florida over Arkansas – Billy Donovan improves to 3-1 against his former top assistant, John Pelphrey.
LSU over Kentucky – ‘Cats sent packing to their old Kentucky homes, NIT bound.
Mississippi State over South Carolina – MSU center Jarvis Varnado presents a matchup problem for the Chickens inside.
Alabama over Tennessee – Vols have never played well in the SEC Tournament under Bruce Pearl.
Florida over Auburn – Pro-Gator crowd should propel Florida in a must-win game.
LSU over Mississippi State – LSU’s tandem of Tasmin Mitchell and Chris Johnson will neutralize Varnado in the post.
Florida over Alabama – In a wild, high scoring affair.
LSU over Florida – Tigers will rout gassed Gators.