What Happened Last Night
It wasn’t easy, but the Kentucky Wildcats can now call themselves SEC Champions.
Kentucky wrapped up at least a share of the SEC regular season title and, thanks to tiebreakers, the top seed in next week’s SEC Tournament with a 73-67 win over the Vanderbilt Commodores. But Vandy very nearly spoiled the party: the Commodores built a 25-6 lead twelve minutes in and led by as much as 13 in the second half. Kentucky finally caught Vanderbilt with seven minutes left and a late flurry from Malik Monk, who had 27 points on the night, finally put the Senior Night win away.
Kentucky is now 25-5 and 15-2 in the SEC, while Vanderbilt dropped to 16-14 and 9-8 in the SEC.
Elsewhere, Sindarius Thornwell scored 22 points in his final home game and the South Carolina Gamecocks survived the Mississippi State Bulldogs 63-57. The final margin is relatively unimportant to the Selection Committee, which sees a South Carolina team that’s 22-8 overall, 12-5 in the SEC, and that didn't lose to Mississippi State. The Bulldogs, who dropped their seventh in a row, are now 14-15 and 5-12 in the SEC in Ben Howland’s second season.
And, the Kim Anderson era (probably) ended with a thud as the Missouri Tigers took a 60-43 loss to the Texas A&M Aggies on Senior Night. Tonny Trocha-Morelos set a new career high with 18 points for the Aggies, who improved to 16-13 and 8-9 in the SEC and are alive for an NIT berth. Missouri lost its fifth in a row and is now 7-22 overall and 2-15 in the SEC.
|Auburn vs. Georgia||6:30 p.m.||SEC Network||WatchESPN|
|Arkansas vs. Florida||7 p.m.||ESPN2||WatchESPN|
|Tennessee vs. LSU||7 p.m.||SEC Network+||WatchESPN|
|Ole Miss vs. Alabama||8:30 p.m.||SEC Network||WatchESPN|
All games can be streamed on WatchESPN.
The SEC Network schedule gets an early start tonight with Auburn facing Georgia in Athens with a 6:30 PM ET tip. Georgia is still showing up as a bubble team on some outlets and while I don't necessarily believe that, a home loss to Auburn (which Georgia beat on the road in December) would presumably end the Bulldogs’ tournament hopes.
At 7 PM ET, Tennessee plays at LSU on the SEC Network+, which means it’s only available on streaming. That’s probably for the best as LSU would likely prefer you not see this team. That’s up against the (relatively speaking) big one on ESPN2: Arkansas travels to Florida, with the Gators needing a win to keep their hopes of a share of the SEC title alive, while Arkansas can pretty much lock up an NCAA bid with a win.
And in the nightcap at 8:30 PM ET, Ole Miss travels to Alabama. This game will be televised on the SEC Network, and these two are both probably NIT squads. But the winner of this game will get the 5-seed in the SEC Tournament... for whatever that’s worth.
Odds and Picks
Yesterday: 1-2 ATS; Season to Date: 105-130-1 ATS
Auburn (+5.5) at Georgia: UGA is still limping to the finish. I think they'll win this one, but it will be closer than 5.5.
Arkansas (+11) at Florida: Arkansas is on a roll, having won five in a row, and you kind of have to question how motivated Florida will be with relatively little to play for (they can still technically get a share of the SEC title, but they’re pinning their hopes on Texas A&M beating Kentucky.)
Tennessee (-5.5) at LSU: 5.5 points? Is Vegas drunk?
Ole Miss (+3.5) at Alabama: Ole Miss has been playing better than Alabama of late and I think they’ll steal a road win here.