All right everybody, this is it. The regular season is in the books with only the conference tournament between us and a complete NCAA Tournament bracket. We know Florida and Kentucky are in. Who else might be is still very much an open question.
A quick peek at today's bracketology reveals that the SEC only has two realistic bubble candidates left: Arkansas and Tennessee. Missouri played its way onto thin ice with losses to Alabama and Georgia late last month, and in a big game with fellow bubble team Tennessee, MU face planted to the tune of a 72-45 loss on Saturday. It was a statement game for both teams, and the statement that Mizzou made was that it had no problem with a ticket to the NIT.
The SEC Tournament begins on Wednesday, and the task is pretty clear. Arkansas cannot lose its first game to either Auburn or South Carolina. Losing by 25 to Alabama on Saturday was bad enough. Another awful loss, especially given the shine that has come off of the Razorbacks' win over Kentucky in the time since, could easily knock them onto the wrong side of the bubble. Tennessee is in precarious position too, so the presumed quarterfinal between these two on Friday could very well be a Big Dance elimination game.
The bubble guys got some great news yesterday with Wichita State winning the MVC. That's one potential lost bid off the table. Green Bay did not win the Horizon, but everyone seems to think they're done anyway, so there's another potential stolen bid gone. There are simply too many conference tournaments still going on to give a good rooting guide, so instead I'll give you links. Basically, root for anyone in the lock column here to win any respective conference tournament and root against anyone near the bubble here.
Florida is going to be a 1-seed, perhaps the No. 1 overall seed if it wins the SEC Tournament. Kentucky will slump down towards the middle of the seeding, probably in the 6-7 range depending on whether it shows it has a pulse left in Atlanta. It'll be hard to place either Arkansas or Tennessee anywhere but the First Four in Dayton should either sneak in, but one of them probably will. As with last week, I'm betting Tennessee. The Vols are playing well and won the regular season matchup with the Hogs.
If the Big Dance started today, the SEC very well could have four teams in. Thanks to the way the SEC Tournament bracket shook out, it's unlikely it'll have more than three come Selection Sunday.
Prediction: Three bids—Florida, Kentucky, and Tennessee