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December 31 SEC Basketball Schedule: Time, TV, Streaming, Odds, and Picks

Take a break from the NFL and watch some SEC basketball this afternoon.

NCAA Basketball: Temple at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

What Happened Last Night

  • Arkansas 95, Tennessee 93 (OT): The very first game of the SEC’s 2017-18 conference schedule might end up being one of the best. Arkansas rallied back from a nine-point deficit with four minutes to play and forced overtime, where they took an 11-point lead with Tennessee’s Grant Williams having fouled out with two minutes left in regulation, before the Vols made a furious rally in the final minute of the extra session to close within two. Daryl Macon led all scorers with 33 points and Jaylen Barford added 28 for the Razorbacks; Jordan Bone led the Vols with 21 points.
  • Auburn 98, Cornell 77: Auburn led by as much as 39 points in the second half before laying off the gas quite a bit and allowing Cornell to make the final score look somewhat respectable (and, well, cover the spread...) Bryce Brown led the Tigers with 19 points, and Auburn improved to 12-1 on the season for the first time since 1999-00.
  • Florida 81, Vanderbilt 74: Florida led by 20 at halftime before Vanderbilt caught fire, scoring 54 points in the second half, but the Commodores had dug too big of a hole and Florida hit its free throws (27 of 30 at the line) to hold off Vanderbilt’s rally. Egor Koulechov led all scorers with 22 points and added 8 rebounds as well; Vanderbilt’s Jeff Roberson had 18 points and 7 rebounds.
  • Mississippi State 109, North Florida 81: Like Auburn, Mississippi State finished its nonconference schedule at 12-1, the first time they’ve had that record since Rick Stansbury’s last season (2011-12, and don’t look up what happened after that.) Aric Holman led the Bulldogs with 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting.
  • Alabama 79, Texas A&M 57: John Petty led all scorers with 18 points as Alabama picked up a surprisingly easy win over a Texas A&M team that was without D.J. Hogg. Tyler Davis and Robert Williams each had 14 points for the Aggies in the loss.

Tonight’s Games

  • Georgia at Kentucky (6:00 PM ET, ESPN/WatchESPN): After a blowout win over Louisville, Kentucky has a quick turnaround with the Georgia Bulldogs coming to town two days later. Georgia hasn’t played in nine days but enters this game with a 9-2 record.

The big question in this one is whether Kentucky’s talented young big men can slow down Georgia’s Yante Maten, who’s averaging 24.8 ppg over the last four games. If the answer to that question is yes, this one should be an easy win for Kentucky, but Maten by himself can give the Bulldogs a chance.

  • South Carolina at Ole Miss (6:00 PM ET, ESPN2/WatchESPN): Ole Miss has been a pretty big disappointment early this season, but the Rebels have a chance to erase all of that in SEC play. The biggest problem for the Rebels this season has been a porous perimeter defense; Ole Miss’s opponents have both attempted and made a lot of threes this year.

The good news? South Carolina isn’t a very good three-point shooting team and may not be able to take advantage of that. This matchup is basically weakness-vs.-weakness.

Bad Gambling Advice

Yesterday: 1-3 ATS; Season to Date: 51-51-2 ATS

  • Georgia (+9) at Kentucky: For whatever reason, the Bulldogs always seem to play close games against Kentucky but generally come up short. So why not again?
  • South Carolina at Ole Miss (-2.5): See above. Ole Miss has a specific weakness that South Carolina probably won’t take advantage of, and this one’s at The Pavilion.