The 2011 SEC Tournament schedule is set after conference play finished up on Sunday with Kentucky winning at Tennessee. Over the next few days, analysts will take a closer look at the 2011 SEC Tournament and offer up their predictions on what will happen over the course of the four day event that tips off Thursday at Noon Central standard Time.
As usual, the SEC tournament predictions are extremely difficult because some teams just won’t go in to the tourney expecting or even caring if they win. That’s because several teams will have already punched tickets to the NCAA tournament. Those teams from the SEC that are safe for the Big Dance includes Florida, Kentucky and Vanderbilt. Every other single team will need to scratch, fight and claw to make sure they get an opportunity to play in the NCAA tournament. This could be the time for one of the bubble teams to go on a run. It’s happened before but I believe the SEC tourney will stick to a more predictable manner in 2011.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the 2011 SEC Tournament schedule and times. Where is the 2011 SEC Tournament being held this year? The answer- all games will be played at the Georgia Dome.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
G1 Auburn vs. Georgia Noon CST
G2 South Carolina vs. Ole Miss 2:30 CST
G3 Tennessee vs. Arkansas 6:30 CST
G4 Vanderbilt vs. LSU 9:00 CST
Friday, March 11, 2011
G5 Game 1 Winner vs. Alabama Noon CST
G6 Game 2 Winner vs. Kentucky 2:30 CST
G7 Game 3 Winner vs. Florida 6:30 CST
G8 Game 4 Winner vs. Mississippi State 9 CST
Saturday, March 12, 2011
G9 Game 5 vs. Game 6 Winners Noon CST
G10 Game 7 vs. Game 8 Winners 2:30 CST
Sunday, March 13, 2011
G11 Game 9 vs. Game 10 Winners Noon CST(ABC)
Now that we’ve delivered the 2011 SEC Tournament schedule and times, let’s talk about my predictions.
The SEC has been very unpredictable this season. Nobody expected Kentucky to lose so many games. Nobody expected Florida would win the East title. Vanderbilt wasn’t predicted as a third seed in the East. The West was way more competitive with the East than anyone had imagined. With all that said, I still believe there are a few givens here or there in regards to the 2011 SEC Tournament. So here are my predictions.
Game 1 of the 2011 SEC Tournament schedule:
Auburn vs. Georgia
The Bulldogs are loaded with talent and were underachievers this season in regards to what many thought they would accomplish. They practically have a home contest opener against Auburn. The Tigers are young and hungry but I don’t think they’ll be able to get past Georgia due to a lack of depth. Auburn may be a team to look out for next season-but I think they fall in the opener to the host Bulldogs 67-56.
Game 2 of the 20111 SEC Tournament schedule:
South Carolina vs. Ole Miss
This is an extremely tough game to predict because South Carolina is so inconsistent. The Gamecocks might have enough talent and energy to make some noise in the 2011 SEC Tournament. Ole Miss is a scary team because of their overall talent level. Still, I think that South Carolina wins this opener by a 71-66 margin.
Game 3 of the 2011 SEC Tournament schedule:
Tennessee vs. Arkansas
This Bruce Pearl team is loaded with talent and potential-but late season losses have certainly put a damper on whether the Volunteers will be playing in the NCAA tournament this season. Tennessee needs this game desperately-so nervous jitters could equal a bad start against an Arkansas team that has improved steadily this season. My predictions for Game 3? The Volunteers edge the Hogs in an ugly 57-56 win at the Georgia Dome.
Game 4 of the 2011 SEC Tournament schedule:
Vanderbilt vs. LSU
This might be the biggest mismatch of the opening day schedule. Vandy backed into a three seed by losing back to back games to Florida and Kentucky and losing an opening round bye. But you have to like the Commodores chances should they face LSU and Mississippi State on back to back nights. Vanderbilt wins this one easily 83-67.
Let’s move to the Friday 2011 SEC Tournament schedule predictions.
Game 5 of the 2011 SEC Tournament schedule:
Georgia vs. Alabama
This battle between two big time defensive teams could be the best game to watch on Saturday. I think the Bulldogs will play well in front of the home fans but not well enough to edge an incredibly hungry Crimson Tide team that is currently on the bubble. Alabama knocks off Georgia 65-61 to move on to Saturday play.
Game 6 of the 2011 SEC Tournament schedule:
Kentucky vs. South Carolina
This might prove to be the biggest mismatch of day two when Kentucky hooks up with South Carolina. The Wildcats breeze to a Friday afternoon win over the Gamecocks, 74-55.
Game 7 of the 2011 SEC Tournament schedule:
Tennessee vs. Florida
The Volunteers run out of gas on their second day in Georgia with a 75-69 loss at the hands of overall champ Florida. The Gators punch their ticket into the semifinals with a great run in the final ten minutes.
Game 8 of the 2011 SEC Tournament schedule:
Vanderbilt vs. Mississippi State
This could be the most interesting match up of the day and perhaps the most unpredictable. Vanderbilt beat the Bulldogs in Nashville but this is a neutral court. Mississippi State has the guns to make a huge run in the SEC tournament. But my predictions say Vanderbilt will win on day two and secure a decent seed in the NCAA tournament with a 77-66 victory.
On to the Saturday schedule of games in the 2011 SEC tournament.
Alabama vs. Kentucky
We’ve seen this type of match-up before in the Southeastern Conference tournament. Two terrific defensive ball clubs with loads of talent. Alabama is capable of pulling off the upset–if it should be called that considering it’s the SEC West #1 against the SEC East #2. The Crimson Tide certainly need the win more but I don’t believe they’ll get it here. The Wildcats edge Alabama to advance to the title game with a 68-62 win.
Vanderbilt vs. Florida
Florida has knocked off Vanderbilt two times already this season. You know what they say about trying to defeat a team three times. Vanderbilt could be due for some major payback but I think the Commodores will run out of gas with tired legs on the third day of SEC Tournament play. I wouldn’t be surprised if Vandy pulled off the upset–but I am going with a Gators chomp chomp of a win-74-70.
Now for the Sunday SEC title game!
Florida vs. Kentucky
It’s an all East match up of top seeded Florida against second seeded Kentucky. There are many reasons why the Wildcats are capable of winning the entire tournament. But the inexperience and youth might be the downfall against a more experienced Florida squad. The Gators squeak out a 75-73 overtime thriller to win the title and grab a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
That’s it for my 2011 SEC Tournament predictions. Only time will tell what truly happens in Georgia. There are several teams who are capable of having a great run in the tournament. Georgia is one that comes to mind because of the home court type advantage at the Georgia Dome. Tennessee is also a ball club that is considered to have the most talent in the conference. On a neutral floor, the Volunteers are extremely capable of winning a handful of games back to back. Arkansas and Mississippi State are also extremely interesting West division teams that could get hot at any point. But when it comes down to it, I think Florida has the most maturity combined with talent in the league. I think the Gators will show that in the 2011 SEC Tournament if they come to play.