The second and final day of four SEC Tournament games is upon us, and it has the capacity to make the tournament fascinating.
1 Texas A&M vs. 8 Florida
1 p.m. ET, SEC Network
The Texas A&M Aggies are in a peculiar spot. They've locked down the top seed in this tournament and are safely in the Big Dance with a projection around the 4/5-seed line, but they're also largely being overlooked. Most observers are picking Kentucky to win in Nashville, and I've yet to see anyone pick the Aggies as a team to watch in the NCAA Tournament. Making noise in the SEC Tournament would be the best way to get attention, and that begins today.
Meanwhile the Florida Gators are playing for their NCAA Tournament lives. It's possible that they don't get into the Field of 68 with a win today, but they definitely will be NIT bound with a loss. They managed to hold off Arkansas yesterday, but they'll need to step it up to get a win over A&M. They only lost by three in College Station, so a win on a neutral floor is not unthinkable.
4 LSU vs. 12 Tennessee
3:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network
The LSU Tigers had a disappointing season, and it didn't get better down the stretch as they sank from the bubble to just off the bubble to definite NIT team. This was supposed to be a big year for the Bayou Bengals with future No. 1 NBA pick Ben Simmons leading the way, but it hasn't happened that way. Will the Tigers rise up and steal the auto-bid to make the tournament after all? Or will the slide continue and possibly even culminate in an elimination today?
Meanwhile, things kind of opened up for the Tennessee Volunteers. After shellacking Auburn, the Vols scored a win over an Ole Miss team that just never had enough to go along with Stefan Moody. Now UT is going up against an LSU team that would entirely be in character if it mailed this game in. A surprise run to the SEC semifinals would be a tremendous ending to Rick Barnes's first season in Knoxville.
2 Kentucky vs. 10 Alabama
7 p.m. ET, SEC Network
The Kentucky Wildcats are the SEC Tournament favorites despite the number 2 by their name. They've looked like one of the best teams in the entire nation at times, but they also were known to no-show from time to time. If the 'Cats have lost their focus and they aren't sharp in the opener here, they could go down. They could also ride the home-like environment that UK fans will likely provide and blow the doors off of Bama. Even though the Wildcats are arguably the SEC's best team, they're not completely trustworthy.
The Alabama Crimson Tide has scored a number of big wins this year, with five wins over the current RPI top 50 including over Texas A&M and Notre Dame. Knocking off Kentucky would be their biggest win yet, and it would also unlock a path to the tournament final if they can then beat South Carolina (which they've done) or Georgia (who they lost to by seven on the road). That's getting a bit ahead, though. Bama won't be looking past this game, and all of its big game hunting skills will be needed to pull off the W.
3 South Carolina vs. 6 Georgia
9:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network
All throughout this season, it's been difficult to know what to make of the South Carolina Gamecocks. They blew through the non-conference season undefeated, but it was not against a formidable group of teams. They've played well enough to beat Texas A&M and poorly enough to lose to Missouri. They've also been swept by Georgia, and they might find themselves a true bubble team with a third loss today. That's not a good place to be considering that the only thing the selection committee has made crystal clear in recent years is that it hates a bad non-conference SOS.
The Georgia Bulldogs are likely to be firm NIT participants at this point, but there's no point in resting on that fact. They already know they can beat South Carolina, and there's always that small hope that Bama will beat Kentucky. If so, the Tide would be another opponent that UGA has defeated this season. After that? It's just one game, and anything can happen in one game. First things first, though.