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March 8 SEC Basketball Tournament Day 1: Tip times, TV schedule, live streaming, odds and picks

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The SEC Tournament is here.

NCAA Basketball: Louisiana State at Mississippi State
Because we all wanted to see this game again.
Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight’s Schedule

It’s that time of year, ya’ll. The SEC Tournament tips off tonight.

All right... deep breaths. This is still Wednesday night. Since the SEC moved to fourteen teams, Wednesday nights at the SEC Tournament have become notorious for sparse crowds and bad basketball. The SEC solved the former problem by just making all of the tickets for tonight’s games general admission — meaning, there won’t be that many people there, but at least they’ll all be on camera — and the latter problem kind of comes with the territory when you’re talking about the bottom four teams in the conference standings.

Actually, this year that might not entirely be true. This year, two of the teams playing on Wednesday night are in the KenPom top 100 and have records of .500 or better! In the five years we’ve been doing this, that number has never been more than one.

Unfortunately, those two teams aren’t playing each other — instead, they’ll likely be mercifully ending the careers of a couple of coaches whose schools have already announced they won’t be back next year. At 7 p.m. ET, the Mississippi State Bulldogs face the LSU Tigers; and 30 minutes after the conclusion of that game, the Auburn Tigers face the Missouri Tigers.

If that doesn’t sound bad enough for you — two actually kind of decent teams playing two teams so bad they’ve decided they don’t even need to wait until after their inevitable conference tournament losses to fire their coaches — keep in mind, both of these exact matchups literally just happened on Saturday.

This is one of those nights where we watch so that you don’t have to. I don’t normally advise you against watching SEC basketball, but I wouldn’t fault you at all if you decide you have something more important to do than watch this. If you do insist, both games will be televised on the SEC Network and will be available for streaming on the WatchESPN app.

Odds and Picks

  • Mississippi State (-6) over LSU
  • Missouri (+6) over Auburn

While both games feel like they could be blowouts, given what we’ve seen over the last month or so — Missouri’s probably going to play their hearts out for Kim Anderson (who could be coaching his last game), while LSU is probably going to mail it in (sorry, Johnny Jones). I think Auburn will beat Missouri, but Missouri will make things interesting. Whereas I could easily see LSU losing by 20.