The Kentucky Wildcats and Tennessee Volunteers will face off in the 2018 SEC Tournament Final on Sunday. This premier matchup was setup after both Kentucky and Tennessee won in the tourney’s Semifinals on Saturday afternoon in St. Louis, Missouri.
Both results were routs, as Tennessee handled the Arkansas Razorbacks 84-66, while Kentucky took down the Alabama Crimson Tide 86-63. It was especially impressive for Tennessee to bounce back after they skated by the Mississippi State Bulldogs 62-59 on Friday, narrowly avoiding an upset. Kentucky, meanwhile, put the clamps down again, as their defense continued to impress.
The star of the day as Wenyen Gabriel. Gabriel’s performance not only drew eyes from the SEC but around the country as well. The Wildcats sophomore had 23 points but was dynamite from the 3-point line. He shot a perfect 7-for-7 from beyond the arc. That performance set an all-time record for Kentucky basketball. So Gabriel’s incredible shot-making made a bit of history along the way.
In total, Kentucky has now won their last 11 SEC Tournament games. They could push it up to 12 if they scoop up their fourth-straight SEC Tournament Championship on Sunday afternoon.
For Tennessee, this is their first appearance in an SEC Tournament Final since 2009. They got five players to score in double figures on Saturday, and Jordan Bone led the way with 19 points. Grant Williams and Kyle Alexander each had 12, Admiral Schofield had 16 and James Daniel put up 12, as well. They erupted from beyond the arc, as the Volunteers shot 64.7 percent on 17 attempts from long range.
The Volunteers are looking to end a lengthy drought on Sunday. The last time they won the SEC Tournament was all the way back in 1979. Ironically, the Volunteers defeated... Kentucky that day. A coincidence, or a sign of things to come? Time will tell.