NCAA Tournament Bracket: SEC Gets Three Bids

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

As expected, the conference only got a trio of teams in. And it was close.

The pre-tournament analysis was correct: the SEC is a three-bid league for the 2014 NCAA tournament.

See the full bracket and get a printable copy here.

Florida nabbed the No. 1 overall seed after holding off Kentucky in the SEC Tournament final. They are the top seed in the South regional, where they'll play their opening rounds in Orlando and potentially regionals in Memphis. The Gators' opening game will be against the winner of the Albany-Mount St. Mary's play-in game. Their next one after that will be against the winner of 8-seed Colorado and 9-seed Pitt.

Kentucky ended up the 8-seed in the brutal Midwest region. It will begin its tournament in St. Louis against 9-seed Kansas State. Should UK win, it will get 1-seed Wichita State in the next round. If Kentucky makes it past the Shockers too, the regionals take place in Indianapolis.

Tennessee barely edged into the field. It has to play one of the First Four games in Dayton in order for the right to play as the 11-seed in the Midwest. Its opening opponent will be Iowa, and should it win there, it'll get UMass in Raleigh in the Round of 64. If the Vols win that one too, they'd get the winner of 3-seed Duke and 14-seed Mercer.

Florida's draw is pretty favorable, probably the nicest of any 1-seed in the field. Its 2-seed is Kansas, a team Florida already beat this season. Plus, KU's Joel Embiid has a back injury that has kept him out of games lately (including the Big 12 tournament). The 3-seed is Syracuse, a team that has been a wreck over the past month. It comes into the tournament on a 2-5 skid with a couple of horrible losses in there. The 4-seed is UCLA, which is headed by notoriously bad March Madness coach Steve Alford. Seriously, this thing worked out.

Given the general expectations for an 11-seed, Tennessee's draw isn't too bad. Iowa has been sinking lately, so the Vols should be able to win in Dayton. UMass isn't the most formidable 6-seed it could have drawn, as it's just 52nd in the KenPom ratings. I don't think they'll beat Duke in the Round of 32, but they'd give the Devils a tough game. Two wins is doable.

As for Kentucky, it got a rough deal. I think 8-seed is too low for this team, and that line is a death spot when you look at the tournament historically. Kansas State is actually all right as an opening round game, as KSU is just 44th in KenPom. However, a second round game against Wichita State is not good. WSU is the kind of tough, experienced team that should be Kryptonite for a bunch of young guns like the Wildcats. Of course so is Florida, and UK very nearly knocked off the Gators in the SEC Tournament final today. They also lost three times to UF, though.

We'll have plenty more on the tournament and these teams, so stay tuned.

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